Photo of Raffi Amit

Raffi Amit

Robert B. Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management

Research Interests: ebusiness, entrepreneurship, family business, strategic management, venture capital financing

Links: CV, Wharton Global Family Alliance, Wharton Entrepreneurship

Contact Information

Address: 2012 SHDH, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email: amit@wharton.upenn.edu
Office: (215) 898-7731
Office Fax: (215) 898-0401

Overview

Raphael (“Raffi”) Amit is the Robert B. Goergen Professor of Entrepreneurship and a Professor of Management at the Wharton School. Dr. Amit founded and leads the Wharton Global Family Alliance (WGFA), a unique academic-family business partnership established to enhance the marketplace advantage and the social wealth creation contributions of global families through thought leadership, knowledge transfer and the sharing of ideas and best practices among influential global families.  He also serves as the Academic Director of Wharton Entrepreneurship which encompasses all of Wharton’s entrepreneurial programs.

Dr. Amit holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Economics, and received his Ph.D. in Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Dr. Amit’s current research and teaching interests center on family business management, governance, and finance, on venture capital and private equity investments, on entrepreneurship, on the design of business models and on business strategy.  He has published extensively in leading academic journals and is frequently quoted in a broad range of practitioner outlets. 

He has published widely cited, award winning research on a broad range of issues that relate to ownership, management and control of family businesses. He has been working with substantial families around the world on such issues as creating governance systems for families and their businesses, succession, valuation, wealth management and the formation of a family office, and more. Overall, the work of Dr. Amit with families integrates the behavioral and emotional issues that characterize the life of each family, with the economic and financial issues that must be addressed to sustain family harmony and happiness alongside with the long-term prosperity of the family business.

Professor Amit has held a range of management and Board of Directors positions in various companies. He served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Creo Products Inc. for 6 years. (NASDAQ: CREO until May 2005 when it was acquired by Kodak.)  Professor Amit has helped form the Korean Global IT Fund, a $100 million VC fund and has served as the first Chairman of the KGIF Advisory Board. He has served on the Board of Directors of Alvarion Ltd. a wireless communication equipment company, and has been a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees of Alvarion. He has also served as the only external director of a private family owned and controlled firm in Hong Kong.  Dr. Amit advises numerous private and publicly held family businesses, on a broad range of strategic, governance and financial issues.

 

Research


  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott (Under Review), Business Model Innovation: Creating Value in Times of Change.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, Y. Ding, B. Villalonga, Hua Zhang (Under Review), The Role of Institutional Development in the Prevalence and Value of Family Firms.    Abstract
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit (2013), The Business Model: A Theoretically Anchored Robust Construct for Strategic Analysis, Strategic Organization    Abstract
  • Emilie Feldman, Raffi Amit, B. Villalonga (Working), Corporate Divestitures and Family Control.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, Belén Villalonga (2013), Primer on Governance of the Family Enterprise, World Economic Forum Report  
  • Raffi Amit, Belén Villalonga, "Financial performance of family firms ". In The Sage Handbook of Family Business, edited by L. Melin, M. Nordqvist, P. Sharma, (2012).
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott, "Business models ". In Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship Research, edited by M. H. Morris, D. F. Kuratko, (2012).
  • Raffi Amit, P. J. H. Schoemaker, "Resources". In Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, edited by David Teece, (2012).
  • Raffi Amit, "The Business Model as the Engine of Network-based Strategies ". In Network-Based Strategies and Competencies, edited by P. Kleindorfer, Y. Wind, (2012).
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott (2012), Creating value through business model innovation, Sloan Management Review, 53 (3), 41 - 49.  
  • Raffi Amit, X Han (Working), Privatization and business portfolio restructuring strategy: Evidence from privatization China.
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott (Working), The Business Model, prepared for the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management.
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit, L, Massa (2011), The business model: recent developments and future research, Journal of Management, 37 (4), 1019 - 1042.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott (Working), The Business Model, prepared for the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship.
  • Raffi Amit, Mauro Guillen, L. Klapper, "Entrepreneurship and Firm Formation Across Countries ". In International Differences in Entrepreneurship, edited by J. Lerner, A. Schoar, (2010), 129 - 158.
  • B. Villalonga, Raffi Amit (2010), Family Control of Firms and Industries, Financial Management, 39 (3), 863 - 905.    Abstract
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit (2010), Business Model Design: An Activity System Perspective, Long Range Planning, 49 (2-3), 216 - 226.    Abstract
  • B. Villalonga, Raffi Amit (2009), How Are US Family Firms Controlled?, The Review of Financial Studies, 22 (8), 3047 - 3091.    Abstract
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit (2009), Innovación del modelo de negocio: creación de valor en de cambio, Universia Business Review  
  • Raffi Amit, H. Lichtenstein, J. Prats, T. Millay, "Single Family Offices: The Art of Effective Wealth Management". In How do Family-Owned Businesses Foster Enduring Values?, edited by J. Tapias, J. Ward, (2008).
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit (2008), The fit between product market strategy and business model: implications for firm performance, Strategic Management Journal, 29 (1), 1 - 26.    Abstract
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit (2007), Business Model Design and the Performance of Entrepreneurial Firms, Organization Science, 18 (2), 181 - 199.    Abstract
  • B. Villalonga, Raffi Amit (2006), How Do Family Ownership, Control and Management Affect Firm Value?, Journal of Financial Economics, 80, 385 - 417.    Abstract
  • R. Arend, Raffi Amit (2005), Self-Selection in Strategic Alliances: Effects on Firm Performance in the Computing Industry, European Management Journal, 23 (4), 361 - 381.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott, "Global Equity Capital Markets for Emerging Growth Firms: Patterns, Drivers, and Implications for the Globalizing Entrepreneur". In The INSEAD Wharton Alliance on Globalization, edited by H. Gatignon, John R Kimberly, (2004), 229 - 253.
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott, "The Business Model ". In Blackwell Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship, edited by M.A. Hitt, D. Ireland, (2004).
  • S. Thornhill, Raffi Amit (2003), Learning from Failure: Bankruptcy, Firm Age and the Resource-based View, Organization Science, 14 (5), 497 - 509.    Abstract
  • P.W. Roberts, Raffi Amit (2003), The Dynamics of Innovative Activity and Competitive Advantage: The Case of Australian Retail Banking, Organization Science, 14 (2), 107 - 122.    Abstract
  • J. Brander, Raffi Amit, W. Antweiler (2002), Venture Capital Syndication: Improved Venture Selection Versus the Value Added Hypothesis, Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, 11 (3), 423 - 452.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, S. Thornhill (2002), Learning from failure: A firm-level analysis of the liability of newness, Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott (2001), Value Creation in e-Business, Strategic Management Journal, 22, 493 - 520.  Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, K. R. MacCrimmon, C. Zietsma, J. Oesch (2001), Does money matter: Wealth attainment as the motive for initiating growth oriented technology ventures, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (2), 119 - 143.  
  • S. Thornhill, Raffi Amit (2001), A dynamic perspective of internal fit in corporate venturing, Journal of Business Venturing, 16 (1), 25 - 50.    Abstract
  • C. Zott, Raffi Amit, J. Donlevy (2000), Strategies for Value Creation in E-commerce: Best Practice in Europe, European Management Journal, 18 (5), 463 - 475.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, M. Belcourt (1999), Human resource management processes: A value creating source of competitive advantage, European Management Journal, 17 (2), 174 - 181.    Abstract
  • E. Gal-Or, Raffi Amit (1998), Does empowerment lead to higher quality and profitability?, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 36 (4), 411 - 432.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, J. Brander, C. Zott (1998), Why do venture capital firms exist? Theory and Canadian evidence, Journal of Business Venturing, 13 (6), 441 - 466.  
  • Raffi Amit, C. Zott, J. Brander (1997), Rethinking venture capital financing, Canadian Investment Review, 10 (3), 19 - 22.
  • Z. Rotem, Raffi Amit (1996), Competence-based strategic defense, Academy of Management Best Papers and Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting, 56-60.    Abstract
  • Raffi Amit, E. Muller (1995), "Push” and “Pull” entrepreneurship, Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 12 (4), 64 - 80.
  • Raffi Amit, E. Muller, I. Cockburn (1995), Opportunity costs and entrepreneurial activity, Journal of Business Venturing, 10 (2), 95 - 106.    Abstract

Awards And Honors

  • Elected Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, 2009
  • The Idea Award for thought leadership. Entrepreneurship Division, the Academy of Management, 2008
  • European Corporate Governance Institute for best paper in Finance prize “Benefits and costs of control: Enhancing Mechanisms in U.S. Family Firms", 2007
  • The Greif Entrepreneurship Research Impact Award, 2007
  • Family Firm Institute best unpublished research paper (“Benefits and Costs of Control enhancing mechanisms in U.S Family Firms”), 2006
  • McKinsey & Company/Strategic Management Society Best Conference Paper Prize Honorable Mention. 20th Annual International Conference October 2000 Vancouver Canada for “Value Drivers of e-Commerce Business Models” (with C. Zott), 2000
  • Strategic Management Journal Best Paper Prize "Strategic Assets and Organization Rents" (with Paul Schoemaker, Volume 14 Number 1, January 1993), 2000
  • Discovery Foundation Research Fellow, 1994
  • Ascendant Scholar Award, Western Academy of Management, 1993
  • Richard M. Paget Research Professor, 1989-1990
  • J.L. Kellogg Research Professor, 1984-1989
  • Northwestern University Doctoral Fellowship, 1974-1977

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Courses

Current

  • MGMT804 - Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management

    This elective half-semester course focuses on venture capital management issues in the context of the typical high-growth start-up company. The course is fundamentally pragmatic in its outlook. It will cover six principal areas relevant to the privately held high-growth start-up, these include commentary on the venture capital industry generally as well as a discussion of the typical venture fund structure and related venture capital objectives and investment strategies; common organizational issues encountered in the formation of a venture backed start-up, including issues relating to initial capitalization, intellectual property and early stage equity arrangements; valuation methodologies that form the basis of the negotiation between the the venture capitalist in anticipation of a venture investment; the challenges of fundraising, financing strategies and the importance of the business plan and the typical dynamics that play out between VC and entrepreneur; typical investment terms found in the term sheet and the dynamics of negotiation between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist; corporate governance in the context of a privately-held, venture capital-backed start-up company and the typical dynamics that play out between VC and entrepreneur in an insider-led, "down round" financing.

    Format: Lecture, case studeis, class participation, weekly case assignments, and final exam.

    Requirements: Classroom participation, weekly case assignments, and final exam

    MGMT804701 

    MGMT804751 

Previous

  • MGMT264 - Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management

    This course focuses on venture capital management issues in the context of a high-growth potential start-up company. The course is motivated by rapid increases in both the supply of and demand for private equity over the past two decades. The topic is addressed from two distinct perspectives: issues that relate to the demand for private equity and venture capital (the entrepreneur's perspective) on the one hand, and issues that relate to the supply of capital (the investor's perspective) on the other. As well, we will address management issues that relate to how the VC and the entrepreneur work together once an investment has been made, compensation issues, and governance issues in the privately held venture capital backed company.

    Format: Case/discussion format, supplemented by lectures and guest speakers.

    Requirements: Classroom participation, written case assignments, late midterm.

    Materials: Required coursepack and supplemental recommended reading.

  • MGMT804 - Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management

    This elective half-semester course focuses on venture capital management issues in the context of the typical high-growth start-up company. The course is fundamentally pragmatic in its outlook. It will cover six principal areas relevant to the privately held high-growth start-up, these include commentary on the venture capital industry generally as well as a discussion of the typical venture fund structure and related venture capital objectives and investment strategies; common organizational issues encountered in the formation of a venture backed start-up, including issues relating to initial capitalization, intellectual property and early stage equity arrangements; valuation methodologies that form the basis of the negotiation between the the venture capitalist in anticipation of a venture investment; the challenges of fundraising, financing strategies and the importance of the business plan and the typical dynamics that play out between VC and entrepreneur; typical investment terms found in the term sheet and the dynamics of negotiation between the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist; corporate governance in the context of a privately-held, venture capital-backed start-up company and the typical dynamics that play out between VC and entrepreneur in an insider-led, "down round" financing.

  • MGMT937 - Entrep. Research Seminar

    The seminar seeks to expose students to theoretical and empirical perspectives on entrepreneurship research. We will focus on the main questions that define the field and attempt to critically examine how, using a range of methodologies, researchers have approached these questions. As we review the literature, we will seek to identify promising research areas, which may be of interest to you in the context of your dissertation research. In addition to addressing the content of the received literature, we will examine the process of crafting research papers and getting them published in top tier journals. Towards that end we will characterize the key elements of high impact papers and review the development process of such studies. Students are expected to comefully prepared to discuss and critique the readings that are assigned to each class meeting (see details below). Each student will serve as the discussion leader for one or more of the class sessions. Discussion leaders are expected to critically review several articles, identify new insights in the research that is being reviewed and evaluate its contribution to the literature, position the articles within the literature on the subject matter, raise discussion question, and act as the discussion moderator for the class session.

    Each discussion leader is asked to prepare a one or two page summary of the assigned papers which includes a statement of the main research question(s), the methodology, data set if any, summary of findings, a commentary with your thoughts on the reading, and proposed discussion questions. Prior to each class, the discussion leader will meet the instructor to help plan the class meeting. Towards the end of each class meeting, each student will be asked to articulate a research question that emerged from the session and describe the research design used to investigate the issue.

  • MGMT938 - Family Business Research Seminar

    Family firms differ in a number of ways from non-family firms. These differences may result in differential behavior by and performance of family firms versus non-family firms. Although family-controlled firms make up the vast majority of businesses around the world, academic research in this space is sparse. This seminar seeks to expose students to theoretical and empirical perspectives on family businesses. Throughout the course, we will focus on the ownership, control, and management issues that set family firms apart. We will focus on the main issues faced by family firms, and attempt to critically examine how, using a range of methodologies, researchers have approached these issues. As we review the literature, we will seek to identify promising research areas, which may be of interest to you in the context of your dissertation research. In addition to addressing the content of the received literature, we will examine the process of crafting research papers and getting them published in top tier journals. Towards that end, we will characterize the key elements of high-impact papers and review the development process of such studies.

    Students are expected to come fully prepared to discuss and critique the readings that are assigned to each class (see details below). Each class will center on discussing in depth 4-5 papers from the reading list assigned to that class. Before each class, I will let you know which papers to prepare. Each student will serve as the discussion leader for one of more of the class sessions. Discussion leaders are expected to critically review several articles, identify new insights in the research that is being reviewed and evaluate its contribution to the literature, position the articles within the literature on the subject matter, raise discussion questions, and act as the discussion moderator for thclass session. Each discussion leader is asked to prepare a one or two page summary of the assigned papers which includes a statement of the main research question(s), the methodology, data set if any, summary of findings, a commentary with your thoughts on the reading, and proposed discussion questions. Prior to each class, the discussion leader will meet the instructor to help plan the class meeting. Towards the end of each class, each student will be asked to articulate a research question that emerged from thesession and describe the research design used to investigate the issue.