SECI model

The SECI model (Socialization, Externalization, Combination, and Internalization) is an innovation model to create new knowledge through interactive exchange between company employees and stakeholders.


  • What: The SECI model, from the Knowledge Creation theory, is an innovation model to create new knowledge through interactive exchange between “tacit knowledge” and “explicit knowledge.”
  • Details: Each employee participates in activities based on knowledge creation theory and works to realise innovation which will satisfy patients’ needs by putting in creative efforts at each level of work.
  • Scope: The SECI model is a global initiative for all Eisai employees.
  • Example: Eisai has implemented the SECI model for its tiered pricing strategy for a medicine in India.

Looking closer

The Knowledge Creation theory describes how organisational knowledge is created through a continuous dialogue between tacit and explicit knowledge, streamlined via four patterns of interactions: Socialization, Combination, Internalization and Externalization (SECI).

Explicit knowledge is codified and transmittable, whereas tacit knowledge is personalised, deeply rooted in action, and hard to be formalised and communicated.

The SECI model is applied by Eisai to generate new knowledge and ultimately foster innovation. Eisai values “Socialization” and encourages all employees around the world to use 1% of their total business hours to interact with patients. During the “Externalization” process, tacit knowledge is translated into a concept or prototype through dialogue among all relevant organisations including local stakeholders and team members in order to better meet patients’ needs. Next, in the “Combination” process, an action plan is created based on all relevant stakeholders, and finally in the “Internalization” process, the action plan is implemented in the company business.

The following is an example of incorporation of local stakeholder perspectives following the SECI model.

Tiered pricing in Asia: Tiered pricing refers to a pricing strategy in which prices are different according to country and income level. Eisai decided to have both global and local partners for its tiered pricing strategy. A global partner was required to ensure a common framework around the world, while a local partner was considered relevant to understand local preferences and needs. Eisai planned to launch eribulin (Halaven®), the first of its cancer products, in India. The local partner is known as a Healthcare Services Company, dedicated to patients and doctor services. The partner’s major objective is to ensure patients adhere to their prescriptions, and thereby support doctors and patients to achieve desired therapeutic outcomes. Applying the SECI model, Eisai global headquarters, Eisai Asia Regional headquarters, Eisai India, and global and local partners discussed and decided to develop a patient assistance programme for eribulin (Halaven®) in India. The programme can evaluate patients’ income level quickly, through an independent financial agency, and can provide assistance for patients to afford the entire cost of the medicine adjusted by each income level. This scheme will be expanded to low income countries and other Eisai products in near future.

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