Rachel Pacheco is on the faculty of the Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown University, where she studied Mathematics, and she received her MBA, MPhil and PhD in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation won the Buckley & Casson Best Dissertation Award from the Academy of International Business.
Professor Pacheco’s research focuses on how complex organizations operate in complex environments. Specifically she examines how large global projects manage conflict, power dynamics, and unstable external environments. Professor Pacheco’s work brings together political science, development economics, and micro and meso- theories of management to this context.
Professor Pacheco teaches global strategy in the core MBA program and organizational behavior for the undergrad students at Wharton. She is also a founding faculty member of the dual degree program in Education Entrepreneurship between the Wharton School and the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania. She has developed multiple university courses that focus on the practical side of managing in growing organizations, and has published a book, Bringing Up the Boss on that topic.
Abstract: A multipartner alliance experiences heightened conflict: the increased number of partners impedes communication and trust-building; and the strategic importance of the alliance’s projects often means the close and contentious involvement of external stakeholders. It is well-accepted that conflict is harmful to multipartner alliance performance, yet there exists a theoretical and empirical gap in understanding what specifically drives conflict in this setting, and what can lessen these instances of conflict. Drawing on diversity theory, I leverage a distinction between three types of diversity—variety of functional roles, separation in institutional values, and financial disparity—to explore the level of conflict experienced by the alliance, and seek to understand why some alliances are better equipped to manage this conflict once it does occur. I test hypotheses by creating a unique measure of the level of conflict experienced by the alliance through natural language processing of 345,000 pages of alliance documents across 2147 global alliances comprised of 45,000 partners. Additionally, using over 25,000 interim status reports, I examine the performance of the alliance over time to empirically assess if conflict is as detrimental to performance as previously theorized. This research examines conflict on a scale not previously studied and shows that the composition of the multipartner alliance does matter for conflict and its prevention, and that not all fighting is indeed bad.
Abstract: In this paper, I examine the impact of uncertainty and governance on the performance of temporary project organizations. Using a sample of 2319 temporary project organizations comprised of 45,883 firms operating across 135 countries, I find that under conditions of high environmental uncertainty—that is, the difficultly in predicting changes in the external environment—hierarchy benefits the performance of the project organization. In the case of behavioral uncertainty—the difficulty in predicting the actions of relevant partners—more hierarchy hurts the performance of the temporary project organization, depending on the type of project that is being undertaken. I posit that more hierarchy can harm critical trust-building processes within projects in the infrastructure space. This research contributes to the understanding of temporary project organizations that exhibit both hierarchical and market-like governance; and provides empirical evidence for the performance implications of the potential misalignment of form and the uncertainty that these organizations face.
Witold Henisz, Rachel Pacheco, B. Zelner (2014), Evaluating the Business Case for Environmental and Social Risk Management in Financial Institutions, International Finance Corporation.
Management in Education introduces the critical management skills involved in planning, structuring, controlling and leading an organization. The course provides a framework for understanding issues involved in both managing and being managed. The class develops a systems view of organizations, examining organizations as part of a context, including but not limited to environment, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people and outputs. Students consider how managerial decisions made in any one of these domains affect decisions in each of the others. Prerequisite: Enrollment in Education Entrepreneurship program.
Marketing for Entrepreneurs addresses how to design and implement the best combination of marketing efforts to carry out a firm's strategy in its target markets. Specifically, this course seeks to develop the student's (1) understanding of how the enterprise can benefit by creating and delivering value to its customers and stakeholders, and (2) skills in applying the analytical concepts and tools of marketing to such decisions as segmentation and targeting, branding, pricing, distribution, and promotion. Prerequisite: Enrollment in Education Entrepreneurship program.
We all spend much of our lives in organizations. Most of us are born in organizations, educated in organizations, and work in organizations. Organizations emerge because individuals can't (or don't want to) accomplish their goals alone. Management is the art and science of helping individuals achieve their goals together. Managers in an organization determine where their organization is going and how it gets there. More formally, managers formulate strategies and implement those strategies. This course provides a framework for understanding the opportunities and challenges involved in formulating and implementing strategies by taking a "system" view of organizations,which means that we examine multiple aspects of how managers address their environments, strategy, structure, culture, tasks, people, and outputs, and how managerial decisions made in these various domains interrelate. The course will help you to understand and analyze how managers can formulate and implement strategies effectively. It will be particularly valuable if you are interested in management consulting, investment analysis, or entrepreneurship - but it will help you to better understand and be a more effective contributor to any organizations you join, whether they are large, established firms or startups. This course must be taken for a grade.
Management 238 is an organizational behavior course, examining individual, interpersonal, and group effectiveness at work. Topics range from decision- making, motivation, and personality to networks, influence, helping, leadership, teamwork, and organizational culture. The learning method is heavily experiential, with a focus on applying key principles to the human side of management in role-play exercises, simulations, a mini-TED talk, and group projects in local organizations. Other Information: This course is open to juniors and seniors across Penn. This course also has a first-day mandatory attendance policy.
This course is about managing large enterprises that face the strategic challenge of being the incumbent in the market and the organizational challenge of needing to balance the forces of inertia and change. The firms of interest in this course tend to operate in a wide range of markets and segments, frequently on a global basis, and need to constantly deploy their resources to fend off challenges from new entrants and technologies that threaten their established positions. The class is organized around three distinct but related topics that managers of established firms must consider: strategy, human and social capital, and global strategy.