Niccolò Pisani

Professor of Strategy and International Business

Niccolò Pisani is Professor of Strategy and International Business. His areas of expertise include strategic management and international business with an emphasis on globalization, sustainability, and digitization.

His teaching on strategy formulation and execution translates complex research into practitioner-oriented lessons. In particular, participants learn to appreciate the nuances of doing business across borders and formulate strategies to compete in today’s increasingly multifaceted international landscape.

Today, more than ever, companies need to be aware of the critical role they play in our society, and actively contribute to resolving some of the enduring global issues of our times – not only because consumers are increasingly attracted to ‘good’ companies, but because society at large needs more socially responsible businesses that create economic prosperity in a sustainable manner.

His empirical research work has been published in top-tier academic journals such as Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of International Business Studies, the Journal of Management, and the Journal of Management Studies. His article on international corporate social responsibility research in the Journal of World Business won the 2017 International Association for Business and Society (IABS) Best Published Paper Award.

Meanwhile, his practitioner-oriented work has been featured in both Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review. He has also produced several popular case studies, and won The Case Centre’s Overall Award in 2022 for “adidas: How to keep running fast in a post-COVID-19 world?”, which was the best-selling case out of the over 60,000 held by The Case Centre, one of the world’s leading case distributors.

He is also a member of the editorial review boards of the Journal of International Business Studies and the Journal of International Business Policy.

At IMD, Pisani is Co-Director of the International Growth Strategies program and has partnered with a variety of companies – including ArcelorMittal, Heineken, Mondelez, Jerónimo Martins, Ipsen, and Audemars Piguet – to ensure a real-world learning environment in his sessions or to generate and deliver applied research.

He has more than 10 years of teaching experience at different program levels, including master’s degrees, executive education, and custom programs, and was a tenured Associate Professor at the University of Amsterdam before joining IMD in 2020.

In addition to his experience in academia, Pisani brings four years of industry experience gained at Sanlorenzo, a global leader in high-end luxury yachting, where he was responsible for international sales of tailor-made motor yachts up to 36 meters.

Early in his career, he worked as a researcher in finance and investments for Merrill Lynch in its San Francisco office. He speaks five languages – Italian, English, French, Spanish and German.

Selected publications
Article
A relational-models view to explain peer-to-peer sharing
The growth of peer‐to‐peer sharing is crucially dependent on continued participation of current platform members and on them behaving prosocially towards other participants who are usually stranger...
Published 1 June 2021
Article
How COVID-19 will change the geography of competition
For any business leader, decisions about their company’s geographic footprint are crucial. Entering a foreign market requires major resources and a strong commitment to succeed. Similarly, deciding...
Published 13 May 2021
Article
Unraveling the MNE wage premium
Whereas IB has extensively studied MNEs’ generic (positive) impact on host economies, but rarely on employee wages, economics research has only shown an overall MNE wage premium. We ‘unravel’ this ...
Published 1 December 2020
Article
Does it pay to be a multinational?: A large-sample, cross-national replication assessing the multinationality–performance relationship
Does it pay to be a multinational? Despite decades of empirical research, we still do not know. We undertake a large‐sample, cross‐national replication of Lu and Beamish (2004) and Berry and Kaul's...
Published 3 January 2020
Article
Accounting for firm heterogeneity in global value chains
The growing interest in global value chains (GVCs) has been paired with a greater appreciation of the need for better measurement methods, as reflected by recent initiatives from academia and leadi...
Published 1 April 2020
Article
How global is international CSR research?
While studies on international corporate social responsibility (CSR) have expanded significantly, their true global nature can be questioned. We systematically review 494 articles in 31 journals ov...
Published 1 September 2017
Article
The Fortune Global 500 isn't all that global
The 2014 DHL Global Connectedness Index that one of us (Ghemawat) prepares with Steven Altman, and that was released on November 3, indicates that global connectedness started to deepen again in 20...
Published 4 November 2014
Article
Are multinationals becoming less global?
Conventional wisdom and substantial evidence based on hard data assign to multinational companies (MNCs) a crucial role in the globalization of economic activities. Despite the fact that the number...
Published 28 October 2013
Article
International management research: Investigating its recent diffusion in top management journals
The globalization of business and the related increase in amount and relevance of international research suggest the need to map the international management field. Building on reviews by Werner (2...
Published 1 April 2009
Academic publications
Book
Offshoring in the global economy : Management practices and welfare implications
While offshoring is not a new reality, the way it is being undertaken is. The aim of this book is to help managers deal with the organizational challenges arising from the offshoring boom that now ...
Published 1 February 2011
Article
Gracious growth: How to manage the trade-off between corporate greening and corporate growth
Organizations are increasingly turning to sustainable practices. A significant challenge in the endeavour to embrace sustainability relates to the trade-off between corporate greening and corporate...
Published 1 September 2022
Article
Offshoring 2.0: Are you ready for the next wave?
With unique resources and capabilities more critical than ever, competition is becoming more knowledge-based, and the ability to source and retain superior talent is critical. Firms best able to na...
Published 1 August 2011
Article
The changing global footprint of the Fortune Global 500
This study aims to offer an assessment of the current degree of globalisation and investment allocation among the world’s largest corporations.
Published 18 June 2016
Article
Offshoring of services: A review of the literature and organizing framework
Offshoring of services (OS), commonly defined as the international relocation of service activities that companies previously performed in their home country, has emerged as a relevant phenomenon i...
Published 1 June 2016
Article
International management research: Investigating its recent diffusion in top management journals
The globalization of business and the related increase in amount and relevance of international research suggest the need to map the international management field. Building on reviews by Werner (2...
Published 1 April 2009
Article
How global is international CSR research?
While studies on international corporate social responsibility (CSR) have expanded significantly, their true global nature can be questioned. We systematically review 494 articles in 31 journals ov...
Published 1 September 2017
Article
Top management team internationalization and firm- level internationalization: The moderating effects of global focus and institutional diversity
The factors that determine firms' levels of internationalization remain a focal area of international business research. Within this research stream, studies building on the upper echelons theory h...
Published 1 September 2018
Article
SMEs' formation of minority international joint ventures and level of internationalization
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the number of minority international joint ventures (MIJVs) formed and the level of internationalization attained in the context...
Published 1 June 2017
Article
Corporate sustainability and inclusive development: Highlights from international business and management research
Sustainability has attracted increasing attention from business scholars as corporations have started to take more responsibility for their environmental, social, and development impacts. In this r...
Published 1 February 2017
Article
Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: What do we know and how to proceed?
Multinational enterprises (MNEs) can play an important role in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This article examines what we know about their participation in implem...
Published 27 December 2017
Article
Offshoring innovation to emerging countries: The effects of IP protection and cultural differences on firms’ decision to augment versus exploit home-base-knowledge
Developed-country multinationals (DMNEs) have increasingly engaged in the practice of offshoring innovation to emerging countries. In this article, we leverage and extend the institution-based view...
Published 1 December 2018
Article
Does it pay for cities to be green?: An investigation of FDI inflows and environmental sustainability
Recent years have seen growing interest in a leading role for cities in addressing major environmental sustainability challenges including cleaner air and water. While geographers have long studied...
Published 1 March 2019
Article
Accounting for firm heterogeneity in global value chains
The growing interest in global value chains (GVCs) has been paired with a greater appreciation of the need for better measurement methods, as reflected by recent initiatives from academia and leadi...
Published 1 April 2020
Article
Leveraging global sources of knowledge for business model innovation
This article explores the concept of leveraging global knowledge for business model innovation, whereby knowledge is transferred across space and firm boundaries for the reconfiguration of an incum...
Published 1 October 2019
Article
Does it pay to be a multinational?: A large-sample, cross-national replication assessing the multinationality–performance relationship
Does it pay to be a multinational? Despite decades of empirical research, we still do not know. We undertake a large‐sample, cross‐national replication of Lu and Beamish (2004) and Berry and Kaul's...
Published 3 January 2020
Article
A relational-models view to explain peer-to-peer sharing
The growth of peer‐to‐peer sharing is crucially dependent on continued participation of current platform members and on them behaving prosocially towards other participants who are usually stranger...
Published 1 June 2021
Article
Unraveling the MNE wage premium
Whereas IB has extensively studied MNEs’ generic (positive) impact on host economies, but rarely on employee wages, economics research has only shown an overall MNE wage premium. We ‘unravel’ this ...
Published 1 December 2020
Insight for Executives
Article
Emmanuel Macron: Why France’s economy may secure his re-election
Emmanuel Macron remains ahead in the polls after the first round of the French presidential election, even if a second term is not the formality that it appeared to be a couple of months ago. With ...
Published 8 April 2022
Article
Toolkit for strategic leading through a crisis: Here are the five skills you need
Turbulent times have changed the rules for what it means to be a good leader. Based on extensive research and interviews with senior executives, our specialists suggest the five essential skills ne...
Published 17 March 2022
Article
Three reasons why Mattarella’s reappointment as Italy’s president is a huge relief for the west
After a tumultuous week of secret votes and intense negotiations between political parties, Italy has reconfirmed Sergio Mattarella as head of state for a second seven-year term. The decision impli...
Published 1 February 2022
Article
Six reasons why businesses must foster a post-COVID global mindset
Even before the pandemic, cultivating a global mindset was challenging. With rising protectionism, remote working and decreased travel, the hurdles for executives have grown higher. But it is preci...
Published 22 December 2021
Article
Germany: The three biggest issues facing Chancellor Olaf Scholz
Olaf Scholz is soon to be sworn in as the new chancellor of Germany after nearly two months of intense negotiations between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and liberal Free Democrats (FDP). It ...
Published 2 December 2021
Article
The changing landscape of international business post-COVID-19
Companies currently face heightened levels of uncertainty, especially in terms of their international operations. Geopolitical tensions are rising, and the U.S.-China trade war may only be at its b...
Published 1 October 2021
Article
How COVID-19 will change the geography of competition
For any business leader, decisions about their company’s geographic footprint are crucial. Entering a foreign market requires major resources and a strong commitment to succeed. Similarly, deciding...
Published 13 May 2021
Article
L'après-Covid-19, et si l'Europe en sortait gagnante ?
With the Covid-19 pandemic, globalization is blacklisted and is likely to evolve, but its survival is assured. European multinationals could even come out on top.
Published 31 March 2021
Article
Three digital game-changers for football in the post-COVID-19 era
For any football club, the performance of the team is and will continue to remain a fundamental trigger for generating enthusiasm and engagement among its fans worldwide. At the same time, embracin...
Published 24 March 2021
Article
Retail growth strategies : Surviving COVID-19
The economic turbulence spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the retail sector. On and off lockdowns, as well as store customer restrictions, have pushed many brick a...
Published 27 February 2021
Article
Why Mario Draghi taking charge of Italy is great news for the EU (and also America)
The news that Mario Draghi has become prime minister of Italy has been saluted by many commentators as great news for the nation. Italy is in desperate need of a strong guide to save the country fr...
Published 23 February 2021
Article
Trump’s China ‘decoupling’ and coronavirus: Why 2020 upheaval won’t kill globalisation
To remain competitive after COVID-19 and reap the potential benefits, as well as being ready for new forms of globalisation to emerge, the ability of a company to seize the opportunities offered by...
Published 9 September 2020
Article
Why do multinationals pay women less in developing countries?
The gender wage gap remains at the centre of efforts to achieve gender parity. Multinational companies play a crucial role in setting pay differentials. Unlike in developed countries, women working...
Published 31 March 2020
Article
Hybrid strategies and the new face of retail
Today most attention has tended to focus on the rise of the Purely Internet-Based model with its digital experience and online sales at the expense of the Traditional Brick-and-Mortar model. Howeve...
Published 22 January 2020
Article
Även lyxbutiker och lågpris måste se upp när e-handeln växer
Luxury and low price stores have done well in the face of digitization. But they have to watch out as customers become more accustomed to online shopping. It is about delivering in all channels, wr...
Published 17 May 2019
Article
Soft, hard, or no Brexit: The damage is done
Regardless of the final Brexit outcome, the damage to the UK has been done. In this paper, we look at five specific areas where this effect is evident: economic performance, investment confidence, ...
Published 24 April 2019
Article
Does it pay for cities to be green?
There has been growing interest in recent years in cities taking a leading role in addressing major sustainability challenges such as air pollution and water scarcity. More than half of the world’s...
Published 26 March 2019
Article
German firms: open borders, closed boardrooms : How many foreigners are in Germany’s top executive positions?
With the impending exit of Great Britain from the European Union in 2019, German firms will likely assume an even greater position within the trading block. Given its reputation as the largest expo...
Published 17 September 2018
Article
How high streets and shopping malls face a domino effect from major store closures
Traditional retail is in the center of a storm – and British department store chain House of Fraser is the latest to succumb to the tempest. The company plans to close 31 of its 59 shops – includin...
Published 8 June 2018
Article
Will it pay to be large in the EU steel industry?: The answer may not be straightforward
There is a widespread belief that many of the problems that have recently plagued the EU steel industry can be resolved, or at least alleviated, by increased market concentration. Aligned with this...
Published 31 May 2018
Article
How global are Germany's largest corporations?
Whereas facts suggest that German companies are among the best equipped and most active to pursue global growth, they offer limited insight to determine the real extent to which these companies are...
Published 1 May 2018
Article
The irony of Brexit lies in the data
Can it be certain that bilateral agreements negotiated post-Brexit will assist British firms in becoming even more global than they currently are? It seems ironic to note that Brexit will force the...
Published 20 March 2018
Article
Internationalisation in online retailing
Online retailing is clearly on the rise. In this article the authors offer a snapshot of the current status of online retailing and provide insights on how differences between countries play a fund...
Published 15 March 2016
Article
The Fortune Global 500 isn't all that global
The 2014 DHL Global Connectedness Index that one of us (Ghemawat) prepares with Steven Altman, and that was released on November 3, indicates that global connectedness started to deepen again in 20...
Published 4 November 2014
Article
Are multinationals becoming less global?
Conventional wisdom and substantial evidence based on hard data assign to multinational companies (MNCs) a crucial role in the globalization of economic activities. Despite the fact that the number...
Published 28 October 2013