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Testing the limits

Posted December 22, 2015
Story By Kourtney Willard, Reprinted from InterCom
Photo: Chad Brown and Dr. Darin Freeburg


In the interdisciplinary university, research is not confined by artificial boundaries. Chad Brown, a senior risk management major in the business school who is minoring in information science, is conducting research into the causes of declining market share and profits. He is under the advisement of Dr. Darin Freeburg, an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science.

“Knowledge management includes the recognition by businesses that its intangible knowledge should be treated like an asset, similar but distinct from its financial and physical assets,” said Dr. Freeburg. “By recognizing the creativity of employees, the power of relationships, the pervasiveness of value and attitude in organizational culture — all knowledge assets — businesses can extract more value, be more agile and innovative, and be more competitive.”

Brown’s hypothesis is “A lack of knowledge management excellence contributed to tech companies decline in market share.” Inspiration for his research stemmed from the consistent decline in interest among consumers for tech companies including Dell, HP, Nintendo and Blackberry. He is exploring causes for the increase of employee layoffs since the turn of the century, the issues that companies face when trying to compete, and why companies experience a decline in market share.

Brown sought out Dr. Freeburg because of his experience in the field of knowledge management. Dr. Freeburg conducts his own research about how churches and non-profit organizations implement knowledge management and what benefits they receive as a result. Dr. Freeburg analyzes the customs of organizations’ abilities to create and share, as well as the tools used by organizations to develop new ways to implement new strategies that can improve the knowledge of the companies’ work. Dr. Freeburg also researches the impact, design and reception of messages from companies to consumers to market their products. Dr. Freeburg said that the research he and Brown are conducting is “exciting” and that he is “happy to see it being highlighted.”


Kourtney Willard is a senior public relations major.