As a member of Wise Counsel Research Associates, he is conducting a study of long-term families enterprises, resulting in working papers, Good Fortune: Building a Hundred Year Family Enterprise, and Best Practices of Successful, Global, Multi-Generational Family Enterprises. He is now in third phase of that project, interviewing 100 hundred year old global families. He is part of the Polaris team, which is working with the Family Business Network to create a roadmap for family and business sustainability. With his global focus, he has taught at Hult University in Dubai, helped the Asia chapter of Family Business Network develop a program to empower next generation family members, and is on the Advisory Board of Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Stetson University.
He received his BA in Philosophy, MA in Management and Ph.D. in Sociology from Yale University. For 35 years, Dennis was professor of Organizational Systems and Psychology at Saybrook University in San Francisco, where he is now professor emeritus.
As a member of the Family Firm Institute since it was founded, he has presented at annual conferences, served on their board, designed and delivered continuing education courses in Family Governance and Family Wealth Advising, written frequently for their journal Family Business Review, and was received the Richard Beckhard Award for his contribution to practice. In 2007 he was named Thinker in Residence for S. Australia, helping the region design a strategic plan for the future of entrepreneurial and family businesses. In 2010 he was a visiting professor at the undergraduate family business program of Stetson University.
Dennis has written a trio of books that guide members of family enterprises, including the 2010 book Stewardship of Your Family Enterprise: Developing Responsible Leadership Across Generations, as well as Working with the Ones You Love: Building a Successful Family Business and Working with Family Businesses: A Guide for Professional Advisors.