Exequiel Hernandez

Exequiel Hernandez
  • Assistant Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2021 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: global networks, internationalization, immigration, innovation, knowledge management, mergers and acquisitions

Links: CV


Professor Exequiel (Zeke) Hernandez is an expert on global networks and the internationalization of firms. He is interested in how firms grow by establishing subsidiaries in foreign countries, by forming alliances and other types of network ties with foreign partners, and by making strategic acquisitions. Zeke’s research deals with two challenges firms must manage as they grow in this manner: creating and transferring knowledge across units scattered throughout multiple parts of the world and dealing with competitive threats from rivals in multiple locations. He has published in top tier journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Academy of Management Journal. 

Zeke was recently selected as the winner of the Emerging Scholar Award by two divisions of the Academy of Management: Business Policy and Strategy (in 2017) and International Management (in 2016). These awards “recognize a promising scholar who has established a research record of exceptional quality early in his career, has a notable publication record, and has already demonstrated an impact on the field… Candidates are judged by the relevance, academic contribution, theoretical and methodological rigor, and practical implications of their work.”

In addition to these career recognitions, Zeke has received awards for specific research topics. His work on the relationship between immigration and the internationalization of firms has been recognized with several awards, most recently the Temple/AIB Best Paper Award in 2016 by Academy of International Business. His studies on how firms can strategically use acquisitions to better position themselves in alliance networks have been granted best paper awards by the Strategic Management Society (2015) and by the Academy of Management (2017).

In his teaching, Zeke strives to apply cutting edge research to the current opportunities and challenges faced by managers. He currently teaches the global strategy course in all of Wharton’s MBA programs (full-time, EMBA, and JDMBA) and trains executives from leading companies around the world. He has been recognized for teaching excellence by three different universities, most recently receiving the Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation award in the Wharton full-time MBA program (2017).

Zeke received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2011. Before joining Wharton, he was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

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  • Emilie Feldman and Exequiel Hernandez (Working), Synergy: Definition, Typology, and Dynamics.

  • Exequiel Hernandez and Mauro Guillen (2017), What's Theoretically Novel About Emerging Market Multinationals?, Journal of International Business Studies (forthcoming).

    Abstract: We review the classic theory of the MNE and past attempts to use it to understand the internationalization of firms from emerging markets. We offer two criteria to determine whether EMNEs modify classic theory or not: (1) establishing appropriate theoretical reference points and (2) distinguishing between theoretical constructs and empirical variables. We suggest that the literature can benefit from moving beyond comparing EMNEs to DMNEs and focusing instead on more fruitful issues. Specifically, emerging markets offer the opportunity to observe the origin of the capabilities of MNEs in general and the development of the institutional ecosystem that supports internationalization.

  • Sarath Balachandran and Exequiel Hernandez (2017), Networks and Innovation: Accounting for Structural and Institutional Sources of Recombination in Brokerage Triads, Organization Science, forthcoming.

    Abstract: Research linking interorganizational networks to innovation has focused on spanning structural boundaries as a means of knowledge recombination. Increasingly, firms also partner across institutional boundaries (countries, industries, technologies) in their search for new knowledge. When both structural and institutional separation affect knowledge recombination, aggregate characterizations of ego network attributes mask distinct recombination processes that lead to distinct types of innovation outcomes. We address this issue by focusing on triads as the locus of recombination in networks. We partition firms’ networks into three configurations of open triads—foreign, domestic, and mixed—based on the distribution of the broker and its partners across or within institutional boundaries. We argue that each configuration embodies distinct recombination processes, with foreign triads offering high access to novel knowledge, domestic triads facilitating relatively efficient knowledge integration, and mixed triads balancing the two. We apply this approach to a global R&D alliance network in the biotechnology industry, using countries as institutional boundaries. The results show that domestic triads affect innovation volume (i.e. the productivity of innovation) more strongly than mixed or foreign triads. In contrast, foreign triads have a greater impact on innovation radicalness (i.e. the path breaking nature of the innovation) than mixed or domestic triads. The findings suggest that different brokerage configurations embody unique recombination processes, leading to distinct innovation outcomes. Our research provides a deeper understanding of how networks and institutions jointly influence distinct aspects of innovation.

  • Exequiel Hernandez and J. Myles Shaver (2017), Network Synergy, Administrative Science Quarterly.

    Abstract: Acquisitions can dramatically reshape interorganizational networks by combining previously separate nodes and allowing the acquirer to inherit the target’s ties, potentially creating network synergy. Network synergy is the extent to which combining an acquirer’s and a target’s networks through node collapse results in a more favorable structural position for the combined firm as the acquirer gains control of the target’s existing ties. We hypothesize that the likelihood  of selecting a target increases when the expected network synergy is greater. Using data from the biotechnology industry (1995–2007), we find support for this hypothesis by showing that acquirers prefer targets that generate greater expected increases in network status and greater expected access to structural holes—even when we control for other known sources of synergies. We further show that these effects are driven by complementary combinations of the acquirer’s and target’s networks that go beyond the attractiveness of the target’s network per se. By integrating the networks and acquisitions literatures, we introduce a novel source of synergies, provide evidence of a previously unexplored mechanism of network change, and show how firms can exert agency in the process of network change.

  • Exequiel Hernandez and Anoop Menon (2016), Acquisitions, Node Collapse, and Network Revolution, Management Science, forthcoming.

    Abstract: Research on networks emphasizes the addition or deletion of ties as the primary mechanism through which firms alter their networks to obtain valuable positions. This overlooks another mechanism of network change that is at least equally important: the ability of a firm to acquire another firm and inherit its network ties. Such ‘node collapse’ can radically restructure the network in one transaction, constituting a revolutionary change compared to the evolutionary effect of tie additions and deletions. Moreover, acquisitions occur in competitive markets, making it crucial to account for multiple firms simultaneously seeking to reach advantageous network positions. We explore how these issues affect the dynamics of the network at the firm and industry levels through a simulation in which actors acquire one another to span more structural holes. We find that acquisition-driven change affects the distribution of individual firms’ performance and the structural properties of the industry-wide network.

    Description: Finalist for the Best Conference Paper Award at the 2015 SMS Annual Conference.

  • Exequiel Hernandez Uber Growth: The Globalization of a Startup (Teaching Case).

  • Exequiel Hernandez and Elena Kulchina (Under Review), Immigrants and Firm Performance: Effects on Foreign Subsidiaries versus Foreign Entrepreneurial Firms.

  • Exequiel Hernandez and Anoop Menon (Working), Strategic Network Change.

    Abstract: Research has demonstrated the value of interfirm networks for firm performance, but less attention has been given to systematically thinking about how firms strategically modify their networks to accomplish their objectives. We develop a framework that treats strategic network change as a classic decision problem with three elements: objectives, actions, and modifiers. This allows us to consider network change actions beyond tie additions and deletions, to include corporate strategies like mergers, divestitures, entry, and exit. We link these actions to the pursuit of valuable network positions (openness, closure, and status) and explore the contingent effects of inducements and opportunities. To map out these linkages, we develop a simple simulation that allows actors to change their networks strategically.

  • Sarath Balachandran and Exequiel Hernandez (Under Review), Liberty in Law? Intellectual Property Rights and Global Alliance Networks.

  • Exequiel Hernandez Uber's Challenges in Foreign Markets (Teaching Case).


Past Courses


    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, and 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 effective of an established enterprise requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.


    Emerging enterprises, the focus in this course, are small, new, fast-growing organizations. Their founders and managers face multifaceted challenges: how to assess the competitive position of their business model and develop a strategy; how to develop the internal organizational structure, culture, and policies for selecting and managing employees; and how to pursue global opportunities. We cover these challenges in separate modules on strategy, human and social capital, and global issues. The human and social capital module covers classic management challenges of aligning interests of the individual and the organization; managing individual psychological needs and social influences; and developing employee capabilities that provide competitive advantage. Also covered are unique challenges that yound organizations face, i.e. building an effective culture; recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent; building systematic approaches to motivating employees; coping with the stresses of rapid growth; and leveraging the benefits (and avoiding the liabilities) of the founder's powerful imprint. The strategy module covers fundamental issues central to the competitiveness of the enterprise. Because the strategy field is broad, MGMT 612 emphasizes topics and frameworks that are most relevant for younger firms, such as innovation, disruption, managing resource constraints, and building capabilities. However, a key insight of the module is the importance of seeing the playing field from the perspective of the competition. Thus, by the end of this section, students will have a robust grounding in strategy that will allow them to succeed, whether their career path leads to a Fortune 100 firm or a garage start up. The global module covers the emerging firm's decision about when (and whether) to internationalize. This decision must address which foreign markets to enter; the mode of entry; the sequence of moves to develop capabilities; what organizational form to choose; where to establish HQ; and how to adapt to the unique economic and institutional features of different markets. In all these issues, the emphasis is on how young, resource-constrained firms can position themselves profitably in globally competitive markets. For the final project, student teams provide integrated analysis across the modules for an emerging enterprise of their choice.

Awards and Honors

In the News

Knowledge @ Wharton


Latest Research

Emilie Feldman and Exequiel Hernandez (Working), Synergy: Definition, Typology, and Dynamics.
All Research

In the News

Growth vs. Profits: Uber’s Cash Burn Dilemma

Can global ride-hailing startup Uber slow its rate of cash burn before losses start to threaten the company’s viability?

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2017/01/24
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