Teamwork is Destroying Organizations:
Kenwyn K Smith public lecture

Professor Smith’s most recent book is titled The Abundance-Scarcity Paradox.  He is currently working on a book to be titled: Teamwork is Destroying Organizations.

6-8 pm Wednesday 18 March 2020

Teamwork is Destroying Organizations: Public Lecture, Melbourne, Australia

Professor Kenwyn K Smith (PhD)

Dr Kenwyn Smith is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a scholar-practitioner who teaches leadership, group and intergroup dynamics, organisational politics and change management to students in multiple Penn graduate programs. During his years at Penn Kenwyn has directed the Center for Workplace Studies, functioned as Faculty Master of Ware College House, created Penn’s Graduate Program in Nonprofit Leadership (a partnership among multiple schools), and until 2012 served as its inaugural director.

Dr Smith, an Australian citizen, has conducted research in a wide range of organisations and communities: 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 professional life, he has helped found a number of volunteer-based, nonprofit organizations, has worked on six continents and has been involved in the education of students from over 100 countries, both at Penn and around the world.

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
  • Groups in Conflict: Prisons in Disguise.

His most recent book, published in 2019, is titled The Abundance-Scarcity Paradox.

Professor Smith is currently working on three books to be titled:

  • The Heart of Leadership: Lessons from Lincoln, Gandhi and Mandela,
  • Teamwork is Destroying Organizations,
  • Healing Economics.

It is time someone says this. Since no one else is blurting it out, I will. “Teamwork” is destroying organizations. This is not a call to reinforce individualism or to shun the value of unity. To the contrary. Organizations are always dependent on the functionality of their work groups.

When organizations first asked employees to become team players they hoped to create a more collaborative workforce while also insisting “to be successful we must compete!” Such dual messaging confuses workers, erodes managerial effectiveness and shreds executive credibility.

What prompted organizational leadership to fixate on teamwork?

  • Was there a specific problem they were trying to address?
  • Were they trying to puncture the long-standing preoccupation with individualism?
  • What did the executives think had made their employees insufficiently collaborative?
  • Had the bosses decided to build a more collaborative relationship with the workers?
  • Were they getting ready to financially reward employees who behaved cooperatively?

In this public lecture, Professor Smith will focus on the issues of deception, under-boundedness and political dynamics and elements of the Abundance-Scarcity Paradox.

Teamwork is Destroying Organizations: Kenwyn K Smith public lecture








Kenwyn Smith public lecture

6-8 pm Wednesday 18th March 2020

Zoom live interactive online session

For only:

* $35 per attendee

* Special $20 for board, committee members, staff, students & alumni of NIODA

Places limited .. don’t miss out!

When & Where

Teamwork is Destroying Organizations: Dr Kenwyn Smith public lecture


Wednesday 18 March 2020


6 – 8 pm


Zoom online interactive session


The National Institute of Organisation Dynamics Australia (NIODA) offers internationally renowned post-graduate education and research, and decades of experience consulting with Australian organisations. In 2018, their annual Symposium will explore the dynamics of interoperability and work within the emergency and trauma sectors.

The study of organisation dynamics brings together socio-technical and psychoanalytic disciplines to explore the unconscious dynamics that exist in every group, team or organisation. Learning more about these theories, and reflecting on the experience of them, can support leaders and managers to unlock great potential in their organisations, tackling issues through a whole new light.

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