Dr. Kenwyn Smith

Kenwyn Smith, PhD

  • Professor
  • Research Interests

    Changing race and gender dynamics in the corporate setting

    The socio-political-cultural causes of homelessness in the USA

    Incarcerated fathers

    The development of a paradoxical theory of organizational life

    MANNA: the birth and growth of an aids organization

    Moving from the scarcity to the abundance paradigm

    Interrupting contemporary non-pharmacological emergent addictions before they become full-blown pathologies

    Applying truth and reconciliation commissions to organizations

    Dr. Smith, Professor of Organizational Behavior, teaches leadership, group and intergroup dynamics, organizational politics, and change management to students in multiple graduate programs at Penn. During his years on this campus, Kenwyn directed The Center of Workplace Studies, served as Faculty Master of Ware College House, (where he was responsible 24/7 for the well-being of 500 Penn undergraduate students), and created Penn’s Graduate Program in Nonprofit Leadership, a partnership among multiple schools and currently housed in the School of Social Policy and Practice. He served as its inaugural director until 2012.

    • Dr. Smith, an Australian citizen and holder of an American Green Card, is an international scholar in the fields of group and intergroup dynamics, organizational change and leadership. His research experience ranges from prisons to schools, from businesses to health care institutions, from state enterprises to social entrepreneurial activities, from oppressed black townships in South Africa to agencies creating sustainable livelihoods in rural India, from pharmaceuticals in Belgium to financial services in urban America, from the World Bank to a community in Philadelphia wrestling with the anguish of people living with HIV/AIDS.
    • During his career Kenwyn has help found a number of volunteer-based, nonprofit organizations, has worked on six continents and has been involved in educating students from over 100 countries, both at Penn and in nations as diverse as China and India, Argentina and Australia.
    • Internationally he is best known for four of his books, Paradoxes of Group Life (co-authored with David N. Berg), MANNA in the Wilderness of AIDS: Ten Lessons in Abundance , Yearning for Home in Troubled Times and Groups in Conflict: Prisons in Disguise.
    • His most recent book, published in 2019, is titled The Abundance-Scarcity Paradox.
    • Approaching the end of his years in academia, Professor Smith is currently working on three books to be titled The Heart of Leadership: Lessons from Lincoln, Gandhi and MandelaTeamwork is Destroying Organizations, and Healing Economics.



    office: 215.898.1238

    fax: 215.573.2099



    3701 Locust Walk, Caster Building
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-6214



    Faculty | Retired Faculty

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    Curriculum Vitae > Getting to Know Kenwyn Smith >