What is it about?

This paper discusses the application and practice of knowledge creation theory into social and societal innovation that transcends the boundaries of the firms. The author's domain, knowledge creation, and its theory have a close relationship with intellectual capital (IC) management. By reviewing the development of knowledge creation, we will find common interest with the development of intellectual capital management. The theory of knowledge creation presented in the early 1990s had emerged from the observation of new product development of Japanese companies in the 1980s. Since then, the scope has expanded to knowledge management (KM) and knowledge-based management. On the other hand, companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of innovation and shifting to "innovation management." Knowledge creation management is a model of innovation management, as at the core of innovation is the knowledge creation process. Today, corporations are interested in the development of open innovation and social innovation and ecosystems. That is to solve problems and provide value by changing society with new knowledge, methods, and technologies. Many companies have expressed strong interests in the SDGs, and the Japanese government has stated the "Society 5.0" vision as a national innovation policy. Therefore, the theme of this paper at large is about how knowledge creation meets the needs of social enterprise and societal innovation.

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Why is it important?

Innovation today is not limited to business organisations, but extends beyond the boundaries of business administration to include open innovation between companies and in society. The aim of this paper is to develop a theory of knowledge creation to put such innovation into practice.


Until now, the concepts of knowledge management, knowledge creation and intellectual capital have been studied separately, although they are interrelated. This paper is a first step in bridging these closely related areas.

Noboru Konno

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This page is a summary of: Intellectual capital in Society 5.0 by the lens of the knowledge creation theory, Journal of Intellectual Capital, March 2021, Emerald, DOI: 10.1108/jic-02-2020-0060.
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