The relationship between Ikujiro Nonaka's knowledge spiral and the six industry principles 4.0 in the context of digital transformation

Daniel de Souza Silva Junior, Ruan Carlos dos Santos, Jucineia de Jesus Ferreira Souza


Purpose: The 4.0 industry is the current trend in automation and data exchange in organizations. However, to date, there is no common, generic understanding in terms of evaluation, but it is necessary to understand the main principles of Industry 4.0 and the manufacturing processes for organizations. This theoretical paper proposes a study of the relationship between Nonaka's spiral from its dimensions with the six industry 4.0 Design Principles in the context of digital transformation.

Design/methodology/approach: This research used inductive method, exploratory and descriptive research, and a bibliographic research was carried out, besides a qualitative research as field research. However, the systematic literature review methodology (SLR) of Tranfield et al. (2003) was used to ensure the replicability and transparency of the study review process.

Findings: The industrial phenomenon 4.0 that Schwab (2016) and Burke et al. (2017), called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was guided by six design principles theorized by Hermann, Pentek and Otto (2015). As a result, a proposal for mapping organizational knowledge was presented, in the context of digitization considering the five dimensions of the knowledge spiral and the six principles of industry 4.0, which can help managers of technologies and organizational strategies in decision making. For future studies, it would be indicated the development of a study that investigates the relationship between the five dimensions of the spiral of Nonaka and its impact on management practices in companies that are in the process of digital transformation.

Originality/value: With the advances in technology and the advances of the industrial revolutions, the profile of professionals and the relationship between employees and companies were changed, a fact demonstrated in the field research, making it possible to highlight: the degree of knowledge of managers on the subject, means, the perception of what Industry 4.0 is; how organizations are already adapting to the new industrial revolution; the main challenges for this adjustment; the relevance for customers and opponents; among other findings. Ikujiro Nonaka's knowledge spiral has been an elementary theoretical basis for understanding the creation and flow of knowledge in a two-dimensional structure. Since its publication, Nonaka's model has been criticized for its viability and usability in day-to-day business. One of the criticisms is the nature of the knowledge (power, density and speed) that circulates in the organization. Another criticism is in relation to its life cycle (creation, organization, formalization, sharing and application). However, in the current context of digital transformation the emergence of industry 4.0 through digitization and digitalization the flow of intraorganizational knowledge offers a strong relationship with virtualized data exchanges.


Digital Transformation, Industry 4.0, Knowledge Management. Ikujiro Nonaka. Strategic System.

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