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Article citation: James Guthrie, (2009) "Obituary – Dr Derek Binney", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 10 Iss: 2, pp. -
Editorial Board member of the Journal of Intellectual Capital (JIC), colleague and friend, Dr Derek Binney, passed away in May 2008, at an early age.
Derek had a distinguished career in industry, where he worked in information technology (IT). Most recently, he was the Chief Technology Officer at CSC Australia and the Director of their Office of Innovation. His success at these roles can be attributed to his inquiring mind and boundless energy. Derek fitted more into most days than would seem humanly possible to most of us – he undertook each and every task with inquisitive enthusiasm.
In his working life, Derek was involved in knowledge management, long before the term became widely used. At CSC, Derek focused on the organisation’s innovation agenda. He considered emerging trends in ITs and issues affecting information and communication technology (ICT) investments and the management of ICT organisations.
Derek completed a PhD at Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney in 2004. His thesis topic was “Time to adopt knowledge management applications: influences that affect individual decisions within a large IT services organisation”. He embraced scholarship with the same gusto with which he approached all aspects of his life, be they work, family, sport or other interests. He described the research he undertook during his doctoral studies as “one of the most enriching experiences” of his life.
Also in 2004, he was invited onto the Editorial Board of the JIC and was an active reviewer and contributor to the early years of the journal.
After the completion of his PhD, Derek published widely and presented his research at international conferences. He was one of those rare individuals who is able to cross effortlessly between academia and industry, making the transition with a firm grasp of both. His questing mind was naturally suited to scholarship – he was fascinated by knowledge, not just the knowing but the search for knowledge. He could involve himself in the minutiae of complex IT problems and consider an organisation from a conceptual, big picture view.
In a speech to graduates of The University of Technology, Sydney in 2005, he said:
[…] technology is not an end in itself – technology is only an enabler. I’m willing to predict that the more successful amongst you will be those who are able to answer the “So what?” question […]
Derek made a significant contribution to Australian Government policy with his participation in the Society for Knowledge Economics and subsequent work on the intangible capital value of ICT investments for the Australian Department of Finance and Administration. His involvement in this large federal government project is a reflection of his intellectual leadership and the respect in which he was held by his colleagues, both in academia and the IT industry.
Derek became ill when his academic career was still in its infancy. He had much more to offer us. But through his working life, his academic and family life, he achieved more than most. Thank you Derek for what you gave us. You are missed.
The Sydney University, Sydney, Australia