Photo of Witold Henisz

Witold Henisz

Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management in Honor of Russell E. Palmer, former Managing Partner

Research Interests: stakeholder engagement, political risk identification and management, rise and fall of neoliberalism, political and economic reform and transitions, project management

Links: CV, Corporate Diplomacy LinkedIn Group, Corporate Diplomacy Portal

Witold J. Henisz is the Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management in Honor of Russell E. Palmer, former Managing Director at The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in Business and Public Policy from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley and previously received a M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

His research examines the impact of political hazards on international investment strategy including efforts by multinational corporations to engage in corporate diplomacy to win the hearts and minds of external stakeholders. In a National Science Foundation funded project he showed that markets value stakeholder engagement twice as much as the net present value of the gold ostensibly controlled by 19 publicly traded gold mining companies. He then assessed the contingencies that influence the choice of which stakeholder these firms should reach out to in order to positively influence valuation as well as how to best develop a cooperative relationship with that stakeholder. He draws upon these insights as well as examples from large scale construction management, sustainable tourism, development and military counterinsurgency in his forthcoming (April 2014) book Corporate Diplomacy: Building Reputations and Relationships with External StakeholdersHis earlier work analyzed (1) the political and economic determinants of government attempts to redistribute investor returns to the broader polity; (2) the strategic responses by organizations to such pressure; and (3) the determinants of the success of individual organizations in withstanding such pressure. His research has been published in top-ranked journals in international business (Journal of International Business Studies), management (Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal and Strategic Organization), international studies (International Organization and International Studies Quarterly) and sociology (American Sociological Review). This research has been profiled for managers in Harvard Business Review, Brunswick Review,, Motley Fool, TriplePundit, Investor Relations Web Report, The Public Affairs Council, The Penn Gazette and Knowledge@Wharton. He served as a Departmental Editor at The Journal of International Business Studies and is currently an Asssociate Editor at Strategic Management Journal.

Witold has won multiple teaching awards at the undergraduate and graduate levels for his elective courses that highlight the importance of integrating a deep understanding of political and social risk factors into the design of an organization’s global strategy. He has authored teaching cases on the experiences of AES Corporation in the Republic of Georgia, the management of the bankruptcy of Thai Petrochemical Industries, the development of the Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania and the financial valuation of sustainability initiatives at Newmont's Ahafo mine in Ghana. He also teaches sessions on Corporate Diplomacy for multiple open enrollment and custom Executive Education programs at the Wharton School including a 3.5 day open enrollment program on the topic

Witold has served as a consultant for Anglo Gold Ashanti, Rio Tinto, Shell Corporation, Maritime Financial Group, The World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, The Conference Board, Eurasia Group, and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). He previously worked for The International Monetary Fund. He is currently a principal in the political risk management consultancy PRIMA LLC.

Summary of Research Papers and Downloads

Download POLCON Database (2013 release (with data to 2011) now available)

Consider using the CHECKS index of the Database of Political Institutions of the World Bank as a robustness check.
For more information on the relative strength and weaknesses of these and other datasets see the following external overviews: