This year, the UD Alfred Lerner College welcomed 18 new faculty members into its community. Scott Bentley is an assistant professor of strategy, and he spoke with Lerner about his passion for business strategy and why he chose to join the University of Delaware.
Lerner: What is your professional and academic background?
Bentley: Binghamton University, Assistant Professor of Strategy, 2017-2022
Lerner: What is your research focus?
Bentley: My research focuses on how organizations can tailor their investments in employees to investments made in other areas as well as in light of strategic change, the broader business environment, and financial performance. Another major area of my research focuses on star employees and how organizations can utilize employees’ skills, abilities, and experiences to build a competitive advantage. I guess if I had to put it simply, I study the people aspect of business.
Lerner: What inspired you to work in your field/research/subject area?
Bentley: I think what initially inspired me was my interest in labor economics and wanting to understand why people were quitting their jobs during recessions and when the unemployment rate was high. In the first year of the doctoral program, I was introduced to professors in the area of strategic HR who studied factors that influence employees’ decisions in the workplace, but from a perspective that combined labor economics with human resource management and psychology, which made me realize the importance of considering the human and psychological aspects that my prior perspective had been missing. Now, I find this intersection between business strategy, HR, and psychology as the core areas that I draw on to understand the phenomena that I study.
Lerner: What is it about UD that made you want to work/teach/research here?
Bentley: UD is a place that is close to my heart. My wife and I grew up in South Jersey, only about 20 minutes from UD, and we both went to high school in Delaware. I have memories of driving through the campus for cross-country meets and seeing UD students at the Christiana Mall wearing their UD gear. Now as a professor, those memories are combined with how impressed I have been with Lerner and the amazing faculty that not only come here, but flourish and stay here. So for me, coming to UD is not just an honor in that I’m joining an amazing group of scholars, but also somewhat of a homecoming.
Lerner: What course are you most excited to teach at Lerner?
Bentley: I’m most excited to be teaching the honors strategic management capstone course. I have loved teaching strategic management and cannot wait to see how the students at UD push me to challenge them in applying what they’ve learned from their courses within Lerner to better understand strategic management and apply it to real world scenarios.
Lerner: What is something unique about you that may surprise your peers/students? (hobby, talent, experience, etc.)
Bentley: I love long-distance running, cycling, and trying new breweries. I’m almost always wearing headphones because I’m endlessly listening to music (80s & 90s rap/alternative) or podcasts (absolutely nothing educational).