News & Events

In a world of viral digital media, external stakeholders can dramatically influence corporate reputations, dramatically impacting shareholder value. In his informative new book, Corporate Diplomacy, author Witold Henisz — Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — outlines the competitive need for a strategic integration of stakeholder-facing functions, to create value for society as well as shareholders.

In the book, Henisz highlights six elements of corporate diplomacy. He uses a series of case studies to illustrate the challenges facing corporate stakeholder-engagement practitioners, whose value is often underappreciated, and offers helpful tools and guidance for how practitioners can bolster their influence and better communicate their value in bottom-line numbers.

The world needs corporate diplomats now, more than ever, to build the bridges needed to harness market forces that can drive systemic, positive change. Relationships do matter. Companies that excel in prioritizing the right strategic relationships and nurturing them well, will more likely win in a competitive marketplace

At Future 500 — where we practice stakeholder engagement between corporations and NGOs and the right and the left — Henisz’s book captures immense wisdom, balancing a scientific, analytical approach with an understanding of the importance of behavioral dynamics.

See full review here

We provide direct empirical evidence in support of instrumental stakeholder theory’s argument that increasing stakeholder support enhances the financial valuation of a firm, holding constant the objective valuation of the physical assets under its control. We undertake this analysis using panel data on 26 gold mines owned by 19 publicly traded firms over the period 1993–2008. We code over 50,000 stakeholder events from media reports to develop an index of the degree of stakeholder conflict/cooperation for these mines. By incorporating this index in a market capitalization analysis, we reduce the discount placed by financial markets on the net present value of the physical assets controlled by these firms from 72 percent to between 37 and 13 percent.

Access paper here

See the press coverage at Wharton@Work, Brunswick Review, Investor Relations Web ReportK@W , TriplePundit, and the PennGazette