Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics in the Graduate Division of the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Ruth L. Orenstein


In this thesis, I explore the fundraising success of Princeton HealthCare System (PHCS) Foundation during the worst economic conditions in the past forty years. The lens of Positive Psychology/Positive Organizational Scholarship is uniquely useful to better understand what worked. I provide a background on PP/POS and Appreciative Inquiry and briefly discuss their history, major tenants and areas of current research. Chapters three and four further examine the application of positivity by the organization’s leadership, staff and/or volunteers and how it led to extraordinary results. A few examples of situations where Appreciative Inquiry was helpful in building consensus and shared enthusiasm are discussed. I review the implication of certain virtues such as transcendence and discuss the positive impact of its related character strengths on our stewardship program. The final chapter addresses some areas of organization weakness and related solutions garnered from my work at The Program in Organizational Dynamics. I also review and answer my thesis questions regarding the applicability of my courses to fundraising and take the liberty, in closing, to include a section of personal reflection.



Date Posted: 03 October 2018