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 Executive Education, Corporate Diplomacy LinkedIn Group

Contact Information

Address: 3107 SH-DH, 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Email: henisz@wharton.upenn.edu
Office: (215) 898-0788
Office Fax: (215) 898-0401

Overview

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, Accountability.org, 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: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTLAWJUSTINST/Resources/IndicatorsGovernanceandInstitutionalQuality.pdf
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTMOVOUTPOV/Resources/2104215-1148063363276/071503_Munck.pdf
http://www.nsd.uib.no/macrodataguide/topic.html
http://www.isadiscussion.com/view/0/datasets.html

Research


  • Witold Henisz (2013), Preferences, Structure and Influence: The Engineering of Consent, Global Strategy Journal, 3 (4), 338 - 359.
  • Witold Henisz (2012), Strategy and Competition in the Market and Non-Market Arena, Academy of Management Perspectives, 26 (3), 40 - 51.
  • Witold Henisz, Raymond E. Levitt, Scott Richard (2012), Toward a Unified Theory of Project Governance: Economic, Sociological and Psychological Supports for Relational Contracting, Engineering Project Organization Journal, 2 (1), 37 - 56.
  • Jandhyala, Srividya, Witold Henisz, Edward Mansfield (2011), Three Waves of BITs: The Global Diffusion of Foreign Investment Policy, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 55 (6), 1045 - 1071.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2011), Leveraging the Financial Crisis to Fulfill the Promise of Progressive Management, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 10 (2), 289 - 321.    Abstract
  • Zelner, Bennet A., Witold Henisz, Guy L.F. Holburn (2009), Contentious Implementation and Retrenchment in Neoliberal Policy Reform: The Global Electric Power Industry, 1989 – 2001, Administrative Science Quarterly, 54(3): 379-412 (lead article).    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, E. Mansfield (2006), Votes and Vetoes: The Political Determinants of Commercial Openness, International Studies Quarterly, 50: 1.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner (2006), Interest Groups, Veto Points and Electricity Infrastructure Deployment, International Organization, 60 (1), 263 - 286.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner (2005), Legitimacy, Interest Group Pressures and Change in Emergent Institutions: The Case of Foreign Investors and Host Country Governments, Academy of Management Review, 30: 2.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner, Mauro Guillen (2005), The Worldwide Diffusion of Market-Oriented Infrastructure Reform, American Sociological Review, 70: 6.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, J. Macher (2004), Firm- and Country-Level Tradeoffs and Contingencies in the Evaluation of Foreign Investment: The Semiconductor Industry, 1994-2002, Organization Science, 15: 6.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner (2004), Explicating Political Hazards: A Transaction Cost Politics Approach, Industrial and Corporate Change, 13 (6), 901 - 915.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, Andrew Delios (2004), Information or Influence? The Benefits of Experience for Managing Political Uncertainty, Strategic Organization, 2 (4), 389 - 422.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2004), Political Institutions and Policy Volatility, Economics and Politics, 16 (1), 1 - 27 (lead article).    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2004), The Political Economy of Trans-Pacific Business Linkages, Business and Politics, 6 (1), Article 2.    Abstract
  • Andrew Delios, Witold Henisz (2003), Policy Uncertainty and the Sequence of Entry by Japanese Firms, 1980-1998, Journal of International Business Studies, 34 (3), 227 - 241 (lead article).    Abstract
  • Andrew Delios, Witold Henisz (2003), Political Hazards, Experience and Sequential Entry Strategies: The International Expansion of Japanese Firms, 1980-1998, Strategic Management Journal, 24 (11), 1153 - 1164.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2003), The Power of the Buckley and Casson Thesis: The Ability to Manage Institutional Idiosyncrasies, Journal of International Business Studies, 34 (2), 173 - 184.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner (2003), The Strategic Organization of Political Risks and Opportunities, Strategic Organization, 1 (4), 451 - 460.  
  • Witold Henisz, Politics and International Investment: Measuring Risk and Protecting Profits (2002).
  • Witold Henisz (2002), The Institutional Environment for Infrastructure Investment, Industrial and Corporate Change    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, A. Delios (2001), Uncertainty, Imitation and Plant Location: Japanese Multinational Corporations, 1990-96, Administrative Science Quarterly, 46: 3.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, B. Zelner (2001), The Institutional Environment for Telecommunications Investment, Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 10 (1), 123 - 148.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2000), The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment, Journal of Law Economics and Organization, 16: 2.    Abstract
  • Andrew Delios, Witold Henisz (2000), Japanese Firm's Investment Strategies in Emerging Economies, Academy of Management Journal, 43 (3), 305 - 323.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (2000), The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth, Economics and Politics, 12 (1), 1 - 31 (lead article).    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz, Olivier Williamson (1999), Comparative Economic Organization -- Within and Between Countries, Business and Politics, 1 (3), 261 - 276.    Abstract
  • Witold Henisz (1999), The Institutions and Governance of Economic Reform’: Theoretical Extensions and Applications , Public Management, 1 (3), 349 - 371.    Abstract
  • Mario Bergara, Witold Henisz, Pablo Spiller (1997), Political Institutions and Electric Utility Investment: A Cross-national analysis, California Management Review, 40 (2), 18 - 35.  

Awards And Honors

  • Excellence in teaching award, MBA Division (elective), 2012
  • Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award Nomination, 2012
  • Finalist, Best Applied Paper in International Management (The Robert H. Schaffer Award) at the 2011 Academy of Management meeting, San Antonio TX, 2011
  • Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award Nomination, 2011
  • Nominated for Best Paper for Practical Implications at the 2011 Strategic Management meeting, 2011
  • Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, 2011
  • Best Paper 2010 Engineering Project Organization Conference, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 2010
  • Excellence in teaching award, Wharton Undergraduate Division, May, 2008
  • Excellence in teaching award, Wharton Undergraduate Division, May, 2007
  • Bronze Prize ($10,000) in International Finance Corporation / Financial Times 2006 Essay Competition on Topic of “Business and Development: The Private Path to Prosperity” (one of six prize winning essays out of over 500 submissions in total), 2006
  • Faculty teaching award (electives), MBA for Executives Program, Class 31East, 2006-2007
  • Finalist, Aspen Institute’s 2006 Faculty Pioneer Award (one of eight finalists out of 100 nominees), 2006
  • First Runner Up, Haynes Prize for Outstanding Scholar in International Business under the age of 40 at 2005 Academy of International Business Annual Conference, 2005
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, International Management Division, Academy of Management (one of 38 out of 656 reviewers so recognized), 2005
  • Faculty teaching award (electives), MBA for Executives Program, Class 28East, 2004-2005
  • Finalist, Best Paper at 2002 Academy of International Business Annual Conference, 2002
  • Finalist, Haynes Prize for Best Paper by a scholar under the age of 40 at 2002 Academy of International Business Annual Conference, 2002
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, International Management Division, Academy of Management, 2000 (one of 8 out of 250 reviewers so recognized), 2000
  • Finalist, The Free Press Doctoral Dissertation Award, Business Policy and Strategy Division, Academy of Management, 1999
  • Richard N. Farmer Award for best dissertation in International Business, Academy of International Business, 1999
  • Best Doctoral Student Paper, Telecommunications Policy Research Conference, 1998

In The News

Knowledge @ Wharton

Courses

Current

  • MGMT715 - Political Environment of the Multinational Firm

    Successful practitioners of corporate diplomacy meld art and skill in engaging external stakeholders to advance their corporate interests. They craft international coalitions of stakeholders spanning politicians, regulators, bureaucrats, analysts, investors, lawyers, reporters, consumers and activists. They influence these stakeholders' opinions, perceptions, behaviors and decisions so as to secure a favorable policy outcome, collective decision or shift in group opinion that enhances their corporation's ability to generate a profit by satisfying a market demand. This course surveys the managerial, political economic, sociological and psychological foundations of corporate diplomacy as well as case study examples of successful and failed implementation in order to develop an interdisciplinary framework for the play of global influence games. The insights gained can be applied to influence team decision-making and organizational politics as well as by individuals and organizations in lobbying, marketing, sales, political campaigns and corporate, national or multilaterial projections of soft power.

    MGMT715001  ( Syllabus

    MGMT715003  ( Syllabus

Previous

  • MGMT611 - Managing Established Enterprises

    The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multi-facet challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy,an how to take into account increasing, globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that successful management in the 21st century requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.

  • MGMT613 - Career Planning

  • MGMT655 - Global Strategic Management

    This course is designed to immerse you in the challenges faced by managers venturing into overseas markets in response to -or in anticipation of- increased global competition. Through a combination of case analysis, readings and class discussions, you will develop the ability to pursue managerial action that is responsive to the evolving global business environment, and to the demands of multiple stakeholders such as local and overseas customers, joint venture partners, and governmental organizations. We will examine the key activities undertaken by managers to evaluate new market opportunities, develop market entry strategies, and effectively manage expansion in international markets.

  • MGMT715 - Political Environment of the Multinational Firm

    Successful practitioners of corporate diplomacy meld art and skill in engaging external stakeholders to advance their corporate interests. They craft international coalitions of stakeholders spanning politicians, regulators, bureaucrats, analysts, investors, lawyers, reporters, consumers and activists. They influence these stakeholders' opinions, perceptions, behaviors and decisions so as to secure a favorable policy outcome, collective decision or shift in group opinion that enhances their corporation's ability to generate a profit by satisfying a market demand. This course surveys the managerial, political economic, sociological and psychological foundations of corporate diplomacy as well as case study examples of successful and failed implementation in order to develop an interdisciplinary framework for the play of global influence games. The insights gained can be applied to influence team decision-making and organizational politics as well as by individuals and organizations in lobbying, marketing, sales, political campaigns and corporate, national or multilaterial projections of soft power.

  • MGMT955 - Seminar in International Management

    The goal of the course is to provide you with a foundation in some of the majorresearch areas that underpin the study of Multinational Management. International Business (and the study of MNCs) is an interdisciplinary field. As such, oursurvey of the seminal articles in the field will span a number of different theoretical and and empirical approaches (i.e., economic, managerial, organizational and institutional). Much of our seminar discussions will focus on identifying and developing interesting research questions raised by this interdisciplinary literature, which offers many opportunities for systematic empirical study.

  • MGMT960 - Inst & Multinational Management

    This course builds on the foundational material presented in MGMT 955 with a deeper focus on current research examining institutional influences on multinational management. These include regulative supports (e.g., laws, regulations, contracts and their enforcement through litigation, arbitration ofincentive compatible self-regulation) but also normative (e.g., socially sharedexpectations of appropriate behavior, and social exchange processes) and cognitive (e.g., creating shared identity to bridge differences in values, beliefs and framing) elements of the institutional environment. We will examine notonly strategic responses in the market environment but also influence strategies of multinational and domestic firms that seek to alter the institutional environment in which they operate. We will draw not only uponthe international business literature but also related literatures including political economy, law, finance, communications, institutional theory, strategic corporate social responsibility, tourist management, construction management, management of extractive industries, negotiations, social movements and network theory (really!).