Originally published on January 29, 2019

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This is the 40th article in the Profiles in Knowledge series featuring thought leaders in knowledge management. Murray Jennex is an academician with a solid background as a practitioner. He was a U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Propulsion officer, a project manager for Southern California Edison for 19 years, and has been professor at San Diego University State University since 2001. He was the recipient of his university’s 2018 Distinguished Faculty Award and was honored as a hero by an anti-human trafficking organization.

I have known Murray virtually for a long time, and first met him in person when he asked me to co-chair a session at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) in August, 2011 in Detroit. He has been an active participant in the SIKM Leaders Community, presenting twice and frequently responding to the queries of other members.

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Murray is a Professor of Management Information Systems at San Diego State University, editor in chief of the International Journal of Knowledge Management, co-editor in chief of the International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, and president of the Foundation for Knowledge Management (LLC). He specializes in knowledge management, crisis response, system analysis and design, IS security, eCommerce, and organizational effectiveness. He serves as the Knowledge Systems Track co-chair at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS).

Murray is the author of over 150 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings on knowledge management, crisis response, end user computing, international information systems, organizational memory systems, eCommerce, cyber security, and software outsourcing. He is a former U.S. Navy Nuclear Power Propulsion officer. Murray is a registered professional mechanical engineer in the state of California, a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP), and a Project Management Professional (PMP).

  • Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University, Management Information Systems.
  • M.S., Claremont Graduate University, Management of Telecommunications Systems.
  • M.S., National University, Software Engineering.
  • M.B.A., National University, Emphasis in Computer Information Systems.
  • B.A., William Jewell College, Physics/Chemistry.


A foundational model that Murray uses for unifying KM with knowledge society, innovation, and entrepreneurship, modified from Riempp’s (2004) framework.

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  1. International Journal of Knowledge Management (IJKM)
  2. International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (IJISCRAM)

1. Email retention policies and email archive best practices

2. SIKM Leaders Discussion on KM and BI — I agree that KM and BI are about decision making, and that KM strategy should focus on supporting decision making. I also believe that BI is really a subset of KM. To be honest I think all of the “new” initiatives such as BI and CI (customer intelligence) are just different ways of packaging KM.

3. Q: I have started the first SharePoint Community of Practice (CoP) at my company consisting of 5 cross-functional groups. Leadership will forward information for me to share, but rarely posts themselves despite my pleading. What can I do?

A: A couple thoughts come to mind:

  • Does this become a potential disclosure for which they become accountable?
  • Is the workload such that there is time to post?

Posting makes sense if it doesn’t take away from other tasks that are important. I spent 20 years in the nuclear industry and one requirement we had when we wanted to add a task to nuclear operators was that we had to take away a task as it was recognized there is only so much available time. I don’t know the situation but time is always an issue. The disclosure is more subtle but needs to be thought about so that leaders are not being asked to post anything that could be used against them.

4. Getting a PhD in Knowledge Management

I’m going to take a different approach to this answer. First, I examine many KM Ph.D. dissertations from universities around the world as I am the editor in chief of the International Journal of Knowledge Management and the co-Track Chair of the Knowledge, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Systems at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. I’m also associated with the Bangkok University program.

To me, looking for a Ph.D. program in KM is not all that useful and as Stan said, most terminal KM degrees are at the Master level. The reason for that is that a Ph.D. is a research degree, meaning that at many universities once you get the Master degree in KM and wish to go on, you would do your Ph.D. level seminars in how to do research and then do a dissertation in KM. This is what most universities do when asked about a Ph.D. in KM. It is what I did for my Ph.D. although I got it back in 1996 and my university called it Organizational Memory, OM. Still, I have a Ph.D. in MIS with the dissertation in OM making it essentially a Ph.D. in KM.

I know this sounds convoluted, but what it means is that the Ph.D. program was situated in the IS discipline so that at the Master level I took courses in database, systems analysis, networking, etc. In 2016 students would take much of the same but also add courses in social media, security, etc. The specialty of the Ph.D. is decided by the topic of the dissertation. This is the same for data analytics, security, etc. Most universities have the generic Ph.D. with the dissertation deciding the focus.

That said, what I suggest is look for KM researchers and see what universities they are at. In Germany my research partner, Dr. Stefan Smolnik, leads a very good KM research group at the University of Hagen. Another very good research group is with Dr. Ronald Maier in Austria, and Dr. Alexander Richter is starting one at the University of Copenhagen. There is another group in Sweden and a good group in Finland. All these are centered on the traditional Ph.D with the research dissertation in KM.

The value of this approach is you need to decide what you want out of your KM, and you seem to be focused on social media. Many universities support this.

1. 2013–11 Where to Look for Knowledge Management Success

2. 2017–09 Re-examining the Jennex Olfman KM Success Model




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  1. Knowledge Management: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications (6-volume set)
  2. Knowledge Management in Modern Organizations
  3. Case Studies in Knowledge Management
  4. Conceptual Models and Outcomes of Advancing Knowledge Management: New Technologies
  5. Effective Knowledge Management Systems in Modern Society
  6. Dynamic Models for Knowledge-Driven Organizations
  7. Knowledge Management, Organizational Memory and Transfer Behavior: Global Approaches and Advancements
  8. Current Issues in Knowledge Management
  9. Using Social and Information Technologies for Disaster and Crisis Management
  10. Managing Crises and Disasters with Emerging Technologies: Advancements
  11. Management of Information Systems Course Reader
  12. Global Aspects and Cultural Perspectives on Knowledge Management: Emerging Dimensions
  13. Ubiquitous Developments in Knowledge Management: Integrations and Trends
  14. Knowledge Discovery, Transfer, and Management in the Information Age
  15. Crisis Response and Management and Emerging Information Systems: Critical Applications
  16. Strategies for Knowledge Management Success: Exploring Organizational Efficacy with Stefan Smolnik
  1. Handbook of Knowledge Management Vol. 1 edited by Clyde Holsapple — Chapter 11: Organizational Memory and Its Management — with Lorne Olfman
  2. Issues of Human Computer Interaction edited by Anabela Sarmento — Chapter 8: Issues in End-User Behavior

Written by

Knowledge Management Author and Speaker, Founder of SIKM Leaders Community, Community Evangelist, Knowledge Manager https://sites.google.com/site/stangarfield/

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