Kinston pioneered the notion and practice of "ethical design," in which finding solutions to social and psychological problems requires 'ingraining values into every action, every thought, every decision, every relationship.'
The application of ethical design during his career as a consultant led to the development of tools for managers called collectively the Technology of Common Sense. Pursuing this systems thinking in additional areas of personal and social life, led Kinston to develop the Taxonomy of Human Elements in Endeavour (THEE). The topics most comprehensively covered to date are purpose and value including politics, and decision and achievement including many features of management and employment.
The taxonomy architecture was discovered by specifying the universal elements of human activity that can come into consciousness in terms of their function, properties, relationships and dynamics. Structural regularities enable the prediction of as yet unspecified elements, much as occurred with the discovery of the periodic table of chemical elements. Although many parts of the Taxonomy are as yet unformulated, in 2012-2014, Kinston proposed an evolutionary basis for the discovered architecture.
In 2007, Kinston introduced THEE by invitation at the Global Organization Design Conference in Toronto, Canada. He then launched the THEE Online Project in 2008. The interactive website that went public in February 2011 makes new and emerging frameworks generally available.
Kinston was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. He was educated at the University of Sydney where he completed science and medical degrees, which included neurophysiology research under Prof. P.O. Bishop. He moved to London to work at the Maudsley Hospital and obtained post-graduate qualifications in psychiatry from the University of London in 1974 and in psychoanalysis from the London Institute of Psychoanalysis in 1977.
Working in child psychiatry at Great Ormond Street Hospital (London), he was part of a small band of innovators that introduced family therapy and systems practice to the UK. He led the development of clinically grounded research methods. Within psychoanalysis, Kinston contributed to clarification of narcissism and repression from a practical and clinical standpoint.
In 1980, Kinston joined the Brunel University's Institute of Organisation and Social Studies (BIOSS) under its Director, Prof. Elliott Jaques and contributed to the development of Jaques's levels of work theory. At Brunel, Kinston founded The SIGMA Centre, a research-based consulting firm that worked in various public and private organisations, most notably the National Health Service (NHS).
In 1995, Kinston co-founded with Prof. Mathew Vadas the ASX-listed biotech company, Bionomics Ltd (ASX: BNO) and in 2001, they co-founded the biotech company Cryptome Research Pty Ltd, which listed on the ASX as Cryptome Pharmaceuticals Ltd in 2003.
Many publications are in the fields of psychoanalysis and family therapy. Publications related to the development of THEE include:
- Pluralism in the organisation of health services research. Social Science and Medicine, 17 (5): 299–313. 1982
- District Health Organisation. Social Policy and Administration, 18 (3): 229–246. 1984
- Purposes and the translation of values into action. Systems Research, 3 (3): 147–160. 1986
- Stronger Nursing Organization (London: Brunel University College, 1987) ISBN 0902215779
- A Total Framework for Inquiry. Systems Research, 4 (1): 9–26. 1988
- A Local Revolution. The House Magazine p. 6, 20 June 1988. (with David Wilshire)
- Rescuing Local Government. County Council Gazette, 81 (2): 50–52. 1988
- Stronger Political Management in Local Government: A Guide. (London: Brunel University – Political Management Program, 1988) ISBN 0902215841
- Levels of Work: New applications to management in large organisations. Journal of Applies Systems Analysis, 16:19–33. 1989 (with Ralph Rowbottom)
- Seven distinctive paths of decision and action. Systems Research, 6 (1): 117–132. 1989 (with Jimmy Algie)
- Making General Management Work in the National Health Service (London: Brunel University, 1989) with Ralph Rowbottom ISBN 0902215914
- The role of region in the post-White Paper NHS. Health Services Management, 85 (3): 110–113. 1989
- Strengthening the Management Culture (London: The Sigma Centre, 1994) ISBN 1874726019
- Working with Values: Software of the Mind (London: The Sigma Centre, 1995) ISBN 1874726027
- Kinston, Warren (1995). Working with Values: Software of the Mind. London: The Sigma Centre. p. 11. ISBN 1874726027.
- Kinston, Warren (1994). Strengthening the Management Culture. London: The Sigma Centre. ISBN 1874726019.
- Kinston, Warren. "About Warren Kinston". THEE Online Project. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Kinston, Warren (1995). Working with Values: Software of the Mind. London: The Sigma Centre. ISBN 1874726027.
- Kinston, Warren. "Personal Functioning". www.thee-online.com. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "News Items". Global Organization Design Society. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Seven-Level Hierarchical Processes (video)". Global Organization Design Society. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Kinston, Warren. "Journey to TOP". THEE Online Project. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Kinston, Warren; Vadas, M.A.; Bishop, P.O. "Multiple Projection of the Visual Field to the Medial Portion of the Dorsal Lateral Geniculate Nucleus and the Adjacent Nuclei of the Thalamus of the Cat" (PDF). www.thee-online.com. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- Kinston, Warren. "Bio-Data". THEE Online Project. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
- Carr, Alan (2006). Family Therapy: Concepts, Process and Practice. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. p. 164. ISBN 0470014547.
- Daniel, Gwyn (June 2011). ""And none of your Laingian Nonsense": My beginnings with family therapy". Context Magazine (115): 34. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Nathanson, Donald L. (1987). The Many Faces of Shame. New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 214–215. ISBN 0898627052.
- Boag, Simon (1 January 2007). "Realism, self-deception, & the logical paradox of repression". Theory & Psychology. 17 (3): 421–447. doi:10.1177/0959354307077290. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- Taylor (et al), Graeme J. (1999). Disorders of Affect Regulation: Alexithymia in Medical and Psychiatric Illness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 89–90. ISBN 0521778506.
- Christian, Forrest. "Related Articles and Papers". Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- Hands, David (2000). Evidence-based organisation design in health care : the contribution of the Health Services Organisation Research Unit at Brunel University. London: Nuffield Trust. ISBN 1902089499.
- Scott, Iain. "Cryptome Pharma files for IPO". Australian Life Scientist. Retrieved 24 April 2014.