Professor Witold Henisz

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
3107 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
215.898.0788 (phone)
215.898-0401 (fax)





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. He analyzes (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 He served as a Departmental Editor at The Journal of International Business Studies


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 and the development of the Rosia Montana gold mine in Romania. He also teaches sessions on Global Policy Risk for multiple open enrollment and custom Executive Education programs at the Wharton School. He is currently co-leading the redesign of the global required course in the Wharton curriculum.


Witold has served as a consultant for the World Bank, The Inter-American Development Bank, The Conference Board, Eurasia Group and the Department of Homeland Security. He previously worked for The International Monetary Fund. He is currently a principal in the political risk management consultancy PRIMA LLC and the risk management consultancy The Probity Group.


Curriculum Vitae in *.pdf format                                                                                Summary of Research
(updated 2/14/11)                                                                                                      (updated 7/29/11)


Accessible Research Summaries

When Engaging With Your Stakeholders is Worth Its Weight in Gold - Knowledge@Wharton
Managing Risk: Public Affairs and Enterprise Risk Management - Foundation for Public Affairs
Creating the Ties That Grow - Wharton@Work
When Opportunities Lie in Risky Markets - Wharton@Work


Current Working Papers

- Henisz, Witold J., Sinziana Dorobantu and Lite Nartey “Spinning Gold: The Financial and Operational Returns to External Stakeholder Engagement”

- Henisz, Witold J. and Raymond E. Levitt “Regulative, Normative and Cognitive Institutional Supports for Relational Contracting in Infrastructure Projects”

- Henisz, Witold J. “Preferences, Structure and Influence: The Engineering of Consent”

- Henisz, Witold J. “Concentrations of Domestic Political and Foreign Economic Power and the Provision of Public Goods”


The Political Constraint Index (POLCON) Dataset (in zipped MS Access or MS Excel formats with codebook)

- Download POLCON Database * 2010 release (with data to 2007) 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:

Teaching Cases Available for Free Use

(email for watermark free versions as well as B and C cases)
Power Trip or Powerplay: AES-Telasi (A)
Thailand Petrochemical Industry: Negotiating Debt After the East Asian Crisis (A)
Rosia Montana: Political and Social Risk Management in the Land of Dracula (A)

Teaching Syllabi

MGMT 955: Foundations of Multinational Management (PhD, 8 weeks)
MGMT 960: Institutions and Multinational Management (PhD, 6 weeks)
MGMT 932: Applied Methods for Management Research (PhD, 14 weeks)
MGMT 715: The Political and Social Environment for the Multinational Firm (MBA, 8 weeks)
MGMT 720X: Corporate Diplomacy (MBA, 12 weeks)
MGMT 655: Global Strategy (MBA, 6 weeks)
MGMT 209: The Political and Social Environment for the Multinational Firm (UG, 14 weeks)


Other Links

The Management Department
The Wharton School

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