Visiting Professor of Management Information Systems; Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Chair of Business Administration; Director, BBA Program


Kelly Gene Cook, Sr., Chair of Business Administration, Director of the MBA Program; BA, Lewis Clark State College; MBA, PhD, Washington State University

I teach applied topics in the professional school of business (i.e., Information Systems, Analytics, and Survey of Management). The rewarding issue with my style of teaching involves the high balance of teaching the requisite explicit knowledge as well as offer ways for students to gain as much tacit knowledge as possible in a contrived academic setting. “Tacit knowledge is subconsciously understood and applied, difficult to articulate, developed from direct experience and action, and usually shared through highly interactive conversation, storytelling, and shared experience.” (Zack 1999) With this type of knowledge, experts are able to know what they don’t know, when rules don’t apply, as well as make fine distinctions, recognize patterns, recognize context, extrapolate, and make decisions quickly. (Leonard and Swap 2005) This type of knowledge is difficult to teach and subsequently assess in a classroom. “In contrast, explicit knowledge is more precisely and formally articulated, although removed from the original context of creation or use.” (Zack 1999) This type of knowledge is fairly commonly encountered in standard classrooms (e.g., reading a textbook and taking a standard exam). However, when challenged to apply explicit knowledge (e.g., complete a case analysis) students soon find it requires an unanticipated level of mastery and tacit knowledge. Thus explicit knowledge is prerequisite in many instances to gaining tacit knowledge. In my classes, I try to give them as much OJT (On-the-Job-Training) as I can by putting students in as many real world (or closer to real world) situations as I can.”