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Information Sciences Department
Naval Postgraduate School
Monterey, California 93943

Office: GW 2006
(831) 656-3570
Fax: (831) 656-2595
Email: MNissen[at]


Professor of Information sciences
Director, Edge Center


My research is directed largely toward the study of dynamic knowledge and organization. I view people, processes, organizations and technologies as an integrated design problem, and I remain involved actively in the investigation of how to (re)design and change organizations continuously to maintain good dynamic fit with their ever-shifting missions, environments, technologies and other contingencies over time and across change. Understanding knowledge dynamics is key, for accelerating knowledge flows—particularly those associated with rich, experience-based tacit knowledge at the group, team and organizational levels—is central to rapid re-organization.

One current application of such work involves applying Organization Design to command and control (C2). This application extends well beyond “military” organizations and missions, addressing myriad large, multinational, 24 x 7 x 365, complex endeavors, which share many commonalities with global network, manufacturing, supply chain and service organizations. I’m focusing also on Autonomy (e.g., integrating unmanned systems into organizations to collaborate with people and vice versa), Cyberspace (e.g., accelerating knowledge flows through and enabling dynamic re-organization of network-centric operations), and acquisition (e.g., measuring dynamic knowledge and corresponding workforce performance).

I have been investigating the dynamics of knowledge for many years now (e.g., publishing my fourth book Harnessing Dynamic Knowledge Principles in 2014). This has involved considerable technical effort (esp. via “intelligent” systems), but my interests are largely organizational (e.g., organizing around dynamic knowledge, technologies and environments) at present, and they continue to drive progress in terms of measuring differences between tacit and explicit knowledge flows across various local contexts.

In addition to theoretical and qualitative research, I've developed deep expertise in computational, laboratory and field experimentation as powerful methods. I’m also continuing to master asynchronous distance education as a complementary, substitutive, and in several cases superior pedagogic technique—outperforming time-honored classroom teaching and even small-group seminars in terms of student engagement, interaction and learning.

I continue leading the Edge Center to coordinate multidisciplinary, multi-university, multi-year research to address very hard questions that require integrative methods, and I remain extremely interested in those that cross multiple levels of analysis (e.g., from neurophysiological to organizational). My 2008 DARPA mimetics study catalyzed this interest a few years back, and it led to a series of fascinating laboratory experiments on trust-mistrust effects using the ELICIT multiplayer intelligence game, but such interest has been reflected in my 2001 – 2004 ONR Young Investigator Project, 2002 – 2003 sabbatical in the Stanford Engineering School, 1995 – 1996 ecommerce research at Cal, and PhD dissertation work at Southern Cal before that.



Material contained herein is made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

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