Knowledge management at Unilever South America – enabling conditions and their interaction with the SECI model

  • Jorge Tenório Fernando Pontificia Universidade Católica de Sao Paulo
  • Silvio Popadiuk Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie
  • Neusa Maria Bastos Fernandes Santos Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo


This paper describes the organizational knowledge taxonomy, comprising management of an existing knowledge and creation of a new knowledge, portraying the theoretical path of the field with emphasis on some oppositions such as tacit-explicit and exploration-exploitation and their impact into the organizations. It presents the case study of Unilever South America by analyzing the company’s enabling conditions for knowledge creation and the integration with the SECI (socialization, externalization, combination, internalization) process, in which we identify how the company manages to cope with knowledge creation and sharing as a strategic resource for the product innovation activities of marketing and R&D project teams, thereby aiming to portray features of the organizational knowledge as a strategic resource and its use dimensions in the product development process. The results pointed to advances in the efforts for the dissemination of knowledge by the top management of the company; however, it also shows that some team integration is missing, so that knowledge is shared due to the working structure rather than for individual or collective initiatives, which leads us to conclude that the strategic objectives and efforts of the organization to extend the reach the generated knowledge within the business does not reflect completely in the reality of the working groups.


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Aug 20, 2019
How to Cite
FERNANDO, Jorge Tenório; POPADIUK, Silvio; SANTOS, Neusa Maria Bastos Fernandes. Knowledge management at Unilever South America – enabling conditions and their interaction with the SECI model. Revista de Negócios, [S.l.], v. 24, n. 2, p. 7-26, aug. 2019. ISSN 1980-4431. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 09 june 2023. doi:


knowledge creation and sharing; SECI process; product innovation; R&D-marketing interaction; Unilever.