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Eric B. Dent, Ph.D. (born November 20, 1961) is the former Dean of the School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and has made important contributions to many interdisciplinary topics, especially the field of Complexity Theory.
Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, Dent is the son of an IBM employee; hence, his family moved six times, finally settling in Boca Raton, Florida. He attended St. Andrew's School, then attended Emory University, receiving M.S. and B.S. degrees in Computer Science. Dr. Dent then moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland where he worked for IBM, designing satellite communication systems. Dr. Dent later served as Vice President, Operations and General Manager of the Washington, DC office of the Todd Organization, a national executive compensation consulting firm. For several years Dr. Dent worked as a management consultant with Macro International. As Technical Director, he managed over $10 million of training and development contracts with the federal government. He most frequently consulted with The Royal Bank of Canada, The United States Navy, and Westinghouse Electric Corporation.
In 1993, Dent founded Always Improvement, a management consulting firm dedicated to organizational improvement. His recent work has been in the areas of organizational change, consultation skills, team-building, conflict resolution, strategic planning, total quality management, leadership, and business process assessment.
In the same year, he began work on his M.B.A with a major in Organizational Behavior and Development and a minor in Finance. Mid-career, he began his doctoral work, receiving a Ph.D in Management and Organization from the School of Business and Public Management at George Washington University. During this time, he taught at the University of Maryland University College, where he would later become the Executive Director of the Doctoral Programs.
During 2002-2003 Dent co-hosted LeaderTalk, a talk show in which CEOs and other thought leaders were interviewed about their business wisdom.
He began his tenure as Dean of the School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in August 2003 and ended July 2008. His tenure was marked by major strides being taken in faculty diversity and credentials, a large increase in international students, the establishment of an entrepreneurial center, and many other accomplishments.
He has also twice visited Cuba, lecturing at the Biennial Seminar on the Philosophical, Epistemological and Methodological Implications of Complexity Theory conference, the second time speaking on "The Challenges of Observation, Inquiry, and Measurement in Complexity Theory."
Dent is a lifelong Methodist, currently attending Chestnut Street UMC in Lumberton, NC where he lives with his family. He is active in various groups in Robeson County, such as the Robeson Community Foundation, Robeson Economic Forum, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Annotated List of Works
- "America, A Proselytizing Society"
- "Can We Agree on the Force, and Call it God? Multi-disciplined Evidence and Organizational Implications"
- "The Observation, Inquiry, and Measurement Challenges Surfaced by Complexity Theory"
- “Worldview Assumptions: Paradigm Shift in Progress?”
- "Challenging Resistance to Change"
- "Seinfeld, Professor of Organizational Behavior: The Psychological Contract and Systems Thinking"
- Full List
- "Complexity theory is an approach to research, study, and perspective that is holistic, interdependent and nonhierarchical."