Niccolò Pisani

Professor of Strategy and International Business

Niccolò Pisani is Professor of Strategy and International Business. His areas of expertise are 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 the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management and 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 he has partnered with a variety of companies – such as ArcelorMittal, Heineken, Mondelez, Jerónimo Martins, Ipsen and Audemars Piguet amongst others – to ensure a real-world learning environment in his sessions or 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, he brings four years of industry experience gained at Sanlorenzo. At this global leader in high-end luxury yachting, he was responsible for international sales of tailor-made motor yachts up to 36 meters.

Early in his career, he also 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
Trader Joe's: At a crossroads?
Case Study
Trader Joe's: At a crossroads?
When Covid-19 hit the US in 2020, the grocery retail industry underwent a greatly accelerated digital transformation as consumers’ habits changed drastically in a matter of weeks. As Americans soug...
Published 8 June 2022
Zentiva: Growing into a regional pharmaceutical powerhouse
Case Study
Zentiva: Growing into a regional pharmaceutical powerhouse
By 2021, Zentiva relied on an internationally diversified network of manufacturing sites, ensuring the production and supply of medicines to millions of people in Europe and beyond. Employing more ...
Published 14 March 2022
AB InBev: Still the King of Beers After Its Legendary CEO's Departure?
Case Study
AB InBev: Still the King of Beers After Its Legendary CEO's Departure?
AB InBev had been the world’s number one brewer since 2004, a position largely attributed to its aggressive strategy of pursuing large, international mergers and acquisitions. The disruptive events...
Published 6 October 2021
The Future of the Global Beer Industry: What Is Brewing Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Case Study
The Future of the Global Beer Industry: What Is Brewing Beyond the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The global beer industry took an unprecedented hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Around the world, governments implemented restrictive coronavirus containment measures such as national lockdowns, c...
Published 3 October 2021
Kellogg: Localizing foreign entry mode
Case Study
Kellogg: Localizing foreign entry mode
For more than 100 years, the Kellogg Company of Battle Creek, Michigan, had sold its breakfast cereals around the globe to consumers. With mounting competition and changing consumer tastes, the com...
Published 23 August 2021
Ducati: Adding value abroad in a post-pandemic world?
Case Study
Ducati: Adding value abroad in a post-pandemic world?
Ducati’s high performance “Made in Italy” motorcycles, spare parts and apparel targeted the high- and premium-end of the market. Described as “the Ferrari of motorcycles”, Ducati produced some of t...
Published 23 August 2021
Tesla’s global expansion: Where to go next?
Case Study
Tesla’s global expansion: Where to go next?
Tesla set out to build “awesome” electric vehicles with a mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. In so doing, Tesla not only disrupted existing incumbent manufacturers ...
Published 23 August 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
The future of the fashion industry in a post-Covid-19 world
Case Study
The future of the fashion industry in a post-Covid-19 world
In 2020, the global fashion industry was faced with substantial disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic had had disruptive consequences, both on the demand and supply sides. But the fashion industry was...
Published 28 February 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
Juventus FC: How to win in the digital era?
Case Study
Juventus FC: How to win in the digital era?
After a rocky start to the 2020/2021 season of the UEFA Champions League and the Serie A, things were finally getting better for Juventus Football Club in December 2020. The new trainer, Andrea Pir...
Published 17 February 2021
Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein post-Covid-19: What’s in store?
Case Study
Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein post-Covid-19: What’s in store?
The global fashion industry was among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, facing major disruptions on an unprecedented scale. On the retail side, challenges included store closures as part of...
Published 11 February 2021
HelloFresh: Will meal kit home deliveries still be hot post-Covid-19?
Case Study
HelloFresh: Will meal kit home deliveries still be hot post-Covid-19?
By the end of 2019, HelloFresh was able to deliver a profit for the first time in its history. Ever since it was founded in 2011, its founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Dominik Richter and h...
Published 8 February 2021
Philips Healthcare: Global sourcing in a post-Covid-19 world
Case Study
Philips Healthcare: Global sourcing in a post-Covid-19 world
As a global leader in healthcare technology, Philips had an important role to play in the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in demand for life-saving medical equipment by hospitals around the world pres...
Published 30 September 2020
How Dom Pérignon's creative ambition can serve luxury companies during and after the pandemic
Article
How Dom Pérignon's creative ambition can serve luxury companies during and after the pandemic
By embracing challenges and sustainability, the Champagne house saved its 2010 vintage and secured its success amid adverse changes in the environment.
Published 23 September 2020
How to reshape your company’s digital marketing efforts
Article
How to reshape your company’s digital marketing efforts
With the advent of digital technologies, the marketing function has gone through a radical transformation. This transformation has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published 15 September 2020
Adidas: How to keep running fast in a post-Covid-19 world?
Case Study
Adidas: How to keep running fast in a post-Covid-19 world?
By the end of 2019 the adidas Group was solidly the world’s second largest multinational in the sportswear manufacturing industry. Following the successful implementation of a digital transformatio...
Published 6 September 2020
Hybrid strategies and the new face of retail
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 26 January 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
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
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
How high streets and shopping malls face a domino effect from major store closures
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 21 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
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
Programs
Blended
Future Leaders

Accelerating the next generation of emerging leaders

Harness the full professional potential of your key talents and equip them with the business acumen, leadership skills and mindset to become a successful leader in today’s uncertain business world.​

Location: Blended Length: 2 days liVe virtual, 8 weeks online & 10 days on campus Fee: CHF 19,900 Next start: 8 February 2023
liVe virtual
International Growth Strategies

Leverage international market opportunities for growth

Find the right opportunities for your company to successfully grow into new markets. You will learn to think systematically about your international growth options, how to seize them and how to adapt your business to thrive abroad.

Location: liVe virtual Length: 6 half days Fee: CHF 5,900
On campus
Orchestrating Winning Performance

Reset for sustainable and inclusive growth

IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.

Location: Lausanne Length: 5 days Fee: CHF 10,900 Next start: 26 June 2023
On campus
Foundations for Business Leadership

Successfully navigate the complexity of general management

Immerse yourself in an intense, highly experiential setting, exposing you to the most current business challenges you will face as general manager. Your cross-disciplinary journey will include IMD’s award-winning business cases, plus business simulations, integrative exercises, cutting-edge live cases, dynamic guest speakers, expert faculty and coaching.

Location: Lausanne Length: 3 weeks Fee: CHF 25,000 Next start: 6 November 2022