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Concept of 'Ba'

The concept of ba was originally proposed by Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida and further developed by Shimizu. Professor Ikujiro Nonaka adapts this concept for the purpose of elaborating SECI model of knowledge creation.

According to the theory of existentialism, Ba is a context, which harbours meaning. Thus, ba can be considered as a shared space that serves as a foundation for knowledge creation.

Accoding to Nonaka, "Ba" can be thought of as a shared space for emerging relationships. This space can be physical (eg. office, dispersed business space), virtual (e.g., email, teleconference), mental (eg. shared experiences, ideas, ideals) or any combination of them. Ba provides a platform for advancing individual and/or collective knowledge.

There are four types of ‘ba’ that correspond to the four stages of the SECI model. Each category describes a ba especially suited to each of the four knowledge conversion modes. These ba offer platforms for specific steps in the knowledge spiral process. Each ba supports a particular conversion process and there by each ba speeds up the process of knowledge creation.

The four Ba's proposed by Professor Ikujiro Nonaka are as below:


K. Nishida, "An inquiry into the Good", translated by M.abe and C.ives (new Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990); K. Nishida, "Fundamental Problems of Philosophy:The world of Action and the Dialectical World" (Tokyo: Sophia University, 1970)

H. Shimizu, "Ba-Principle: New Logic for the Real-time Emergence of Information," Holonics, 5/1 (1995):67-69

Ikujiro Nonaka, Noboru Konno, The concept of "Ba’: Building foundation for Knowledge Creation. California Management Review Vol 40, No.3 Spring 1998.


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Concept of Ba

Originating Ba

Interacting Ba

Cyber Ba

Exercising Ba