Political Risk & Identity Lab

The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
At a time of unprecedented social and political change, companies are struggling to manage political risks and challenges from a changing population. The Political Risk and Identity Lab is undertaking a program of activity that explores the relationship between political risk, demographic change, and corporate performance. We aim to help organizations translate political and social uncertainty and transformation into strategies that create, preserve, and realize value by providing academically rigorous, practically relevant research.

Featured Research

Business and Conflict Barometer

At the frontier of big data and conflict analysis, The Business & Conflict Barometer dramatically lowers the barriers for interested parties to explore and gain an understanding of the dynamics of the private sector, conflict, and peaceful development in Africa at the granular level of companies, locations, sectors, or contexts: for research; for policy, project, or investment planning; for due diligence; and for monitoring and evaluation.

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Gold Mine Studies

In five published papers, Witold Henisz, Sinziana Dorobantu and Lite Nartey demonstrate the materiality of stakeholder engagement for 19 publicly traded gold mining companies, show that positive stakeholder sentiment is particularly valuable during a crisis, and analyze different strategies for earning and maintaining stakeholder support. These academic papers have been widely summarized in popular and industry-facing media including Brunswick Review, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance, Knowledge at Wharton, Knowledge at Wharton (2nd piece), the Motley Fool, PennGazette, and Triple Pundit.

Faculty Leadership

Witold Henisz smiling in a light colored button down outside in front of trees and brown brick buildings.

WITOLD (VIT) HENISZ

Vice Dean, ESG Initiative
Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management
Faculty Co-Director, Political Risk and Identity Lab

Exequiel Hernandez 3760 2203

EXEQUIEL (ZEKE) HERNANDEZ

Max and Bernice Garchik Family Presidential Associate Professor
Faculty Co-Director, Political Risk and Identity Lab

Featured Faculty and Scholars

Nathan Barrymore
Assistant Professor of Business, Government, and Society, The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business

Christopher Bruno
Doctoral Student

Lauren Ferry
Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Mississippi

Michael Gavin
Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University School of Global Environmental Sustainability

Brian Ganson
Professor and Head of the Centre on Conflict & Collaboration, Stellenbosch Business School

Britta Glennon
Assistant Professor of Management

Anastasia Gracheva
Doctoral Student

Tony L. He
Assistant Professor in the Management and Global Business Department, Rutgers Business School

Anne Jamison
Assistant Professor of International Economics, Government & Business, Copenhagen Business School

Jaeho Kim
Doctoral Student

J. Daniel Kim
Assistant Professor of Management

Saerom (Ronnie) Lee
Assistant Professor of Management

Claudia Liuzza
Ducigs Rethinking Diplomacy Program Fellow, Duke University

Lynn Meskell
PIK Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Historic Preservation, Weitzman School of Design

Kate Odziemkowska
Assistant Professor, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Rachelle Sampson
Associate Professor of Logistics, Business and Public Policy, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Doron Tadmor
Doctoral Student

Timothy Werner
Professor of Business, Government & Society, The University of Texas at Austin’s McCombs School of Business

A Brief History 

Recognizing the emerging needs of its students and society at large, Wharton unified several research centers, each with an extensive history of expertise in environmental, social, and governance topics, to form the ESG Initiative on July 1, 2022. The Political Risk and Identity Lab was uniquely positioned to join the ESG Initiative for its investigation of social issues through the geopolitical lens.

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The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School