Brent Smith

Senior Associate Dean for Executive Education, Associate Professor of Management and Psychology (Organizational Behavior)

Professor Brent Smith, Ph.D. is currently Senior Associate Dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University. Prior to his current academic appointments, he was a member of the faculty at London Business School and Cornell University where he taught in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has also taught for shorter periods at the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University, the Danish Technical University and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad and has conducted executive programs around the world for companies such as Shell, IBM, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, KPMG, ExxonMobil, BP, ADCO, Lufthansa, DeBeers, Schneider Electric, Microsoft, El Paso Energy, Veritas, Dynegy, ONGC, CGG Inc., Marathon Oil, Citibank, RedBull, Phillip Morris International, NationalOilwellVarco, Swedbank, Ulster Bank, RBS, and TOTAL. His teaching interests focus primarily on leadership and management development. Dr. Smith’s executive programs include Leading and Managing Change, Talent Development and Coaching, and Leading and Managing High Performance Teams. Dr. Smith has served as leadership faculty in the corporate universities of TOTAL, Lufthansa, Tenaris, NationalOilwellVarco, and Cooper Industries.

Dr. Smith has a special interest in non-profit academic and educational institutions. He co-developed the non-degree programming for Rice’s award-winning Educational Entrepreneurship Program dedicated to training primary and secondary school administrators to be more holistic leaders. Additionally, he has worked extensively with the Houston Independent School District and advised HISD’s Board of Trustees. In 2006, Dr. Smith developed a program to train senior staff and faculty leaders at Rice University. In its 10th year, Dr. Smith has trained over 200 current and future leaders at Rice. Currently, Dr. Smith has turned his interest to academic medical institutions and the unique challenges in health care. His clients include M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Methodist Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Smith has twice received the Scholarly Achievement Award from the Academy of Management (1998, 2004) and the Outstanding Publication in Organizational Behavior Award (2004) for his research on personality, organizational culture, and employee attitudes. His research has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Human Performance, Journal of Business Ethics, and Leadership Quarterly. He is a co-editor of the book Personality and Organizations and The People make the Place.

Dr. Smith’s early research focused on identifying methods of redressing adverse impact and differential treatment of protected classes in employee selection and promotion. More recently, his research interests focus broadly on personality issues in work organizations including response dynamics in personality measurement; the personality correlates of effective work performance and the relationship between personality and organizational culture. He is deeply interested in the integration of trait and social-cognitive models of personality.

Dr. Smith is a founding partner of PeopleSmith, a firm specializing the enhancing organizational effectiveness through research-grounded interventions.

Research Interests: 

-Goal setting
-Human resource management
-Interviewing
-Motivating employees
-Organizational behavior
-Performance evaluations
-Personal selection
-Teams
-Change management
-Employment
-Ethics
-Influencing people
-Leadership