Gordon Ford dean given prestigious management award

Christopher Shook, dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business

Western Kentucky University

Christopher Shook, dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business

Michael Crimmins, Administration reporter

Christopher Shook, dean of the Gordon Ford College of Business since 2019, was recently honored with the Southern Management Association’s most prestigious award.

At its reception in Little Rock, Arkansas on Oct. 20, the SMA presented Shook with the James G. Hunt SMA Sustained Outstanding Service Award.

“They give it to one person a year,” Shook said. “It’s supposed to represent someone who has provided the most service to the Southern Management Association over the years in a sustained manner.”

According to its website, the Southern Management Association is the “largest geographical association,” with over 1,000 members, that offers figures in the business world a chance to present, and discuss, their research.

“Southern Management Association is the largest regional affiliate of the Academy of Management,” Shook said. “So, every year we have a meeting in the fall where you present your research, and discuss the research.”

Shook said he was honored to have received recognition from an association that served as his “academic home” growing up.

“In academia there’s very little positive reinforcement, if we’re being honest,” Shook said. “I’ve never had 500 people stand up and give me an ovation before, so it was really fun to receive positive affirmation and to receive the award from an organization that’s meant a lot to me.”

Shook said his journey with SMA began 30 years ago when he entered the doctoral program in 1992. In 1995, he presented his first sole research paper on paradigm development and strategic development research.

“I started off giving papers and presenting research, being a discussant, reviewing for the meeting,” Shook said. “Then they asked me to be the doctoral [track chair].”

However, his tenure with the association did not end with presenting and discussing papers. He quickly was elected to the board of governors in 2007, where he served until 2016. Shook then served as SMA’s president and past president, a position he held for two years.

“[…] Southern Management is where I’ve always felt the most at home,” Shook said.

He also was senior assistant editor for the Journal of Management, a peer-reviewed academic journal for SMA covering a wide variety of business, management and organizational subjects.

Shook has also been a two-time Fulbright Scholar to Romania and has served as a visiting professor in France.

“It’s meant a lot to me,” Shook said. “It’s where I grew [at SMA]. You could be yourself there. I learned a lot there.”

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].