Mikolaj Jan Piskorski

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Mikołaj Jan Piskorski, who often goes by Misiek, is an Associate Professor of Business Administration in the Strategy Unit at the Harvard Business School. Follow @mpiskorski on Twitter.

Misiek received his B.A and M.A. (Cantab) from University of Cambridge where he read Economics and Politics at Christ's College. Subsequently, he received his A.M. in Sociology and Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. After completing his Ph.D. he became a faculty member in the Organizational Behavior area at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. In 2004, he returned to Harvard to teach the Required Curriculum Strategy course in the MBA Program. He is now teaching his own Elective Curriculum class: Competing With Social Networks. In addition, Misiek teaches in Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage, Driving Digital and Social Strategy, Media Strategies and Strategic IQ Executive Education programs as well as in a number of custom programs.

Misiek is an expert on why and how people use various on-line social platforms, both in the U.S. and abroad. He also studies how firms can leverage these platforms to build social strategies. He also applied many of these insights to large organizations as they seek to become more agile and use social networks to execute their strategies. He has documented this research in a book called A Social Strategy: How We Profit From Social Media, forthcoming in May 2014.

His research has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly and Social Forces and cited in the New York Times, Business 2.0, and Investors Business Daily. He serves or has served on the editorial boards of several academic journals including American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, Management Science and Organization Science.​

Books

  1. A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media

    Keywords: Society; Success;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. A Social Strategy: How We Profit from Social Media. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, in press.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

  1. Social Strategies That Work

    Although most companies have collected lots of friends and followers on social platforms such as Facebook, few have succeeded in generating profits there. That's because they merely port their digital strategies into social environments by broadcasting their commercial messages or seeking customer feedback. To succeed on social platforms, says Harvard Business School's Piskorski, businesses need to devise social strategies that are consistent with users' expectations and behavior in these venues-namely, people want to connect with other people, not with companies. The author defines successful social strategies as those that reduce costs or increase customers' willingness to pay by helping people establish or strengthen relationships through doing free work on a company's behalf. Citing successes at Zynga, eBay, American Express, and Yelp, Piskorski shows that social strategies can generate profits by helping people connect in exchange for tasks that benefit the company such as customer acquisition, marketing, and content creation. He lays out a systematic way to build a social strategy and shows how a major credit card company he advised used the method to roll out its own strategy.

    Keywords: social platforms; social strategies; Social and Collaborative Networks; Customers; Relationships; Business Strategy; Profit;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Social Strategies That Work." Harvard Business Review 89, no. 11 (November 2011): 116–122.
  2. When More Power Makes Actors Worse Off: Turning a Profit in the American Economy

    Keywords: Profit; Economy; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Tiziana Casciaro. "When More Power Makes Actors Worse Off: Turning a Profit in the American Economy." Social Forces 85, no. 2 (December 2006): 1011–1036.
  3. Power Imbalance, Mutual Dependence and Constraint Absorption: A Closer Look at Resource Dependence Theory

    Despite ubiquitous references to Pfeffer and Salancik's classic volume, The External Control of Organizations, resource dependence theory is more of an appealing metaphor than a foundation for testable empirical research. We argue that several ambiguities in the resource dependence model account in part for this and propose a reformulation of resource dependence theory that addresses these ambiguities, yields novel predictions and findings, and reconciles them with seemingly contradictory empirical evidence from past studies. We identify two distinct theoretical dimensions of resource dependence, power imbalance and mutual dependence, which in the original theory were combined in the construct of interdependence and yet have opposite effects on an organization's ability to reduce dependencies by absorbing sources of external constraint. Results from a study of interindustry mergers and acquisitions among U.S. public companies in the period 1985–2000 indicate that, while mutual dependence is a key driver of mergers and acquisitions, power imbalance acts as an obstacle to their formation. We conclude that our reformulation of the resource dependence model contributes to realizing the potential of resource dependency as a powerful explanation of interorganizational action.

    Keywords: Power and Influence; Theory;

    Citation:

    Casciaro, Tiziana, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "Power Imbalance, Mutual Dependence and Constraint Absorption: A Closer Look at Resource Dependence Theory." Administrative Science Quarterly 50 (June 2005): 167–199.
  4. Sources of Structural Inequality in Managerial Labor Markets

    This article proposes two mechanisms that allow actors to obtain unearned advantages in labor markets. The first mechanism is consistent with collusive closure arguments. However, it questions the assumption that those who seek to benefit from collusive closure will always initiate it. Instead, it suggests that under certain cultural conditions, closure may arise through a series of self-reproducing social constructions that restrict access to a position to those who conform to certain socially defined criteria. The second mechanism is consistent with Sørensen's discussion of the role of composite rents in generating unearned advantages. Whereas Sørensen focused on composite rents between actors and productive assets, the mechanism presented here suggests that actors can obtain unearned advantages even if workers are not specific to productive assets, as long as there are composite rents between these productive assets. Data in support of the models are provided from the executive labor market.

    Keywords: Management; Labor; Markets;

    Citation:

    Khurana, Rakesh, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "Sources of Structural Inequality in Managerial Labor Markets." Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 21 (2004): 169–187.

Other Published Articles

  1. When Should a Platform Give People Fewer Choices and Charge More for Them?

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions;

    Citation:

    Halaburda, Hanna, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "When Should a Platform Give People Fewer Choices and Charge More for Them?" CPI Antitrust Chronicle (Summer 2010).
  2. Vision Statement: Mapping the Social Internet

    Fresh data on internet user behaviors around the globe show an East-West divide.

    Keywords: Consumer Behavior; Emerging Markets; Social and Collaborative Networks; Internet;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Tommy McCall. "Vision Statement: Mapping the Social Internet." Harvard Business Review 88, nos. 7-8 (July–August 2010).

Papers Under Review

  1. Social Structure of Norm Enforcement: Evidence from Wikipedia

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Andreea Daniela Gorbatai. "Social Structure of Norm Enforcement: Evidence from Wikipedia." (American Journal of Sociology, Second Round Revise and Resubmit.)
  2. Platforms and Limits to Network Effects

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Hanna Halaburda. "Platforms and Limits to Network Effects." (Management Science, First Round Revise and Resubmit.)
  3. Networks as Covers: Evidence from On-Line Social Networks

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Networks as Covers: Evidence from On-Line Social Networks." (Social Forces, Under Review.)

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Social Strategy at Cisco Systems

    In April 2013, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, vice president and general manager for Learning@Cisco Systems, was planning the future of the Cisco Learning Network, an online platform hosted at Cisco.com. Since its launch in 2008, the Cisco Learning Network provided content to prepare networking professionals for certification exams, as well as social functionalities to let users interact with each other. To help realize the company's vision for "The Internet of Everything (IOE)," a world where nearly all physical objects, places, people, and processes were connected through the Internet, Cisco estimated that 75 to 90% of all IT workers needed to be re-skilled. The Cisco Learning Network played an important role in that process, helping to train networking professionals to design, build, and manage more complex networks. Aware of just how much was riding on the success of the learning platform, Beliveau-Dunn needed to decide whether to invest heavily in content—and have Cisco employees post videos, tutorials, and study guides to the site—or invest in more social networking tools to enable the community to produce content and help one another master the material in preparation for new certifications.

    Keywords: Networks; Technology Platform; Internet; Competency and Skills; Learning; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Daniel Malter, and Aaron Smith. "Social Strategy at Cisco Systems." Harvard Business School Case 714-475, January 2014.
  2. Competing with Social Networks: Overview

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Overview." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 713-500, March 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  3. Competing with Social Networks: Overview

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Overview." Harvard Business School Course Overview Note 713-501, March 2013.
  4. Competing with Social Networks: Social Failures

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Failures." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-494, March 2013.
  5. Competing with Social Networks: Social Failures

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Failures." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-497, March 2013.
  6. Competing with Social Networks: Social Platforms

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Platforms." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-495, March 2013.
  7. Competing with Social Networks: Social Platforms

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Platforms." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-498, March 2013.
  8. Competing with Social Networks: Social Strategy

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Strategy." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-496, March 2013.
  9. Competing with Social Networks: Social Strategy

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J. "Competing with Social Networks: Social Strategy." Harvard Business School Module Note 713-499, March 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  10. Competing with Social Networks: Designing Social Strategy

    This note outlines the process of designing a social strategy.

    Keywords: Social Enterprise; Strategy; Planning;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Competing with Social Networks: Designing Social Strategy ." Harvard Business School Module Note 710-472, March 2010. (Revised April 2013.)
  11. Your Social Network over Time (survey tool)

    Keywords: Social and Collaborative Networks; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Gorbatai, Andreea Daniela, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "Your Social Network over Time (survey tool)." 2010. Electronic.
  12. Your Social Network over Time

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Andreea Gorbatai. "Your Social Network over Time." Harvard Business School Background Note 709-476, February 2009. (Revised September 2013.)
  13. Your Social Network Over Time (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J., and Andreea Gorbatai. "Your Social Network Over Time (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-485, March 2013.
  14. eHarmony

    eHarmony's CEO needs to decide how to react to imitations of its business model, encroachment by competing models, and ascendance of free substitutes. The case provides four options to address these threats and asks students to choose one after they analyzed the company's strategy. The analysis begins with the understanding of value proposition, as derived from failures of substitutes. It proceeds to examine industry structure and important differences across its different niches. Students can then analyze the essence of a focused differentiation strategy and understand the importance of costly strategic trade-offs. They can also estimate the size of eHarmony's competitive advantage over two other competitors before articulating threats to sustainability, all of which will help them choose one of the four options.

    Keywords: Business Model; Decision Choices and Conditions; Growth and Development Strategy; Industry Structures; Competitive Strategy; Competitive Advantage; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Hanna Halaburda, and Troy Smith. "eHarmony." Harvard Business School Case 709-424, July 2008.
  15. eHarmony (TN)

    Teaching Note for eHarmony [709424].

    Keywords: Business Model; Strategy; Valuation; Industry Structures; Competitive Advantage; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Hanna Halaburda. "eHarmony (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 709-446, July 2008. (Revised January 2013.)
  16. Meetup

    Meetup, an on-line company providing means of arranging face-to-face meetings, is deciding between two options of increasing its revenue by investing to: (i) increase new sign ups, (ii) improve the engagement of existing users.

    Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Decision Choices and Conditions; Business Strategy; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and David Chen. "Meetup." Harvard Business School Case 710-408, January 2010. (Revised February 2012.)
  17. Meetup (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Meetup (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-486, March 2013.
  18. Twitter

    Twitter is a micro-blogging company that allows users to send short text updates to others. The site is used by people, including celebrities, government officials, and businesses. It helps to raise money for non-profit organizations and provides first-responders with information during a natural disaster. Even though almost 10 million people visited the site in early 2009, the site had no strategy for monetizing the traffic. The case allows students to examine potential monetization strategies for Twitter.

    Keywords: Blogs; Revenue; Information Publishing; Growth and Development Strategy; Social and Collaborative Networks; Web;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, David Chen, Bill Heil, and Aaron Smith. "Twitter." Harvard Business School Case 710-455, January 2010. (Revised January 2014.)
  19. Twitter (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Twitter (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-487, March 2013. (Revised from original February 2013 version.)
  20. mixi (A)

    Kasahara, the founder and CEO of mixi, the most successful Japanese on-line social network, is deciding between two strategic options: (i) B2C or (ii) C2C to leverage the power of the social network. In the B2C option, mixi would become a portal for on-line shopping for both digital content and tangible goods and charge the business sellers a fee. In the C2C option, mixi would facilitate exchanges between mixi's members through on-line flea markets or auctions and charge the members for successful transactions. In choosing between the two options he has to consider other upstart networks, particularly in the field of mobile social networking.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Market Platforms; Social and Collaborative Networks; Business Strategy; Mobile Technology; Online Technology; Japan;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Masaru Nomura, and Kanako Miyoshi. "mixi (A)." Harvard Business School Case 709-413, July 2008. (Revised June 2011.)
  21. mixi (B)

    Supplements case 709-413.

    Keywords: Business Model; Value Creation; Social and Collaborative Networks;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "mixi (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 711-412, March 2011. (Revised March 2013.)
  22. mixi (TN) (A) and (B)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "mixi (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-488, March 2013.
  23. Facebook

    As Facebook topped one billion monthly users in October 2012, the online social network continued to face questions about how best to monetize its surging traffic. The company could invest further in new advertising products, which represented the majority of the revenue thus far, or concentrate on the Facebook Platform and help third-party developers create and distribute their own applications. After a highly anticipated yet largely disappointing initial public offering (IPO), Facebook's stock price steadily declined. It became critical for the Facebook team to identify sustainable growth opportunities, particularly as more of its user base accessed the site via mobile devices.

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Profit; Open Source Distribution; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Aaron Smith, David Chen, and Brian Feinstein. "Facebook." Harvard Business School Case 808-128, March 2008. (Revised March 2014.) (More Info.)
  24. Facebook (TN)

    Keywords: Strategy;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Facebook (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 712-439, October 2011. (Revised March 2013.)
  25. foursquare

    Co-founders of foursquare are deciding how to respond to competitive threats and scale up the organization. Foursquare was a location-based online service that allowed users to "check in" to a location using an application on a smartphone. Foursquare kept track of a user's check-ins, shared them with users' friends, and unlocked "Specials" that gave users discounts at nearby locations. Within a year and a half of its founding the company had 45 employees and over 5 million users and was valued in excess of $100 million. However, many competitors, including Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, developed competitive services requiring foursquare to respond.      

    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Online Technology; Mobile Technology; Competitive Advantage; Web Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Thomas R. Eisenmann, Jeffrey J. Bussgang, and David Chen. "foursquare." Harvard Business School Case 711-418, January 2010. (Revised March 2013.)
  26. foursquare (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "foursquare (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-489, March 2013.
  27. LinkedIn (A)

    In the summer of 2005, LinkedIn, a two-year-old start-up, was choosing between two options to monetize its 5 million business people network. Members could contact each other through trusted intermediaries on the network to offer or seek jobs, consulting engagements, expertise, and financing. The company had outpaced its competitors by building the most populous online business network, but it had little revenue to show its investors. The first revenue option entailed keeping the existing features unchanged and rolling out a bundle of eight new services for a monthly fee of $15. These services would be targeted at network members who had forged many connections, logged in frequently, and viewed the profiles of many other members. The second proposal involved changing a basic design feature of LinkedIn by allowing members to contact each other without intermediaries for a fee. Fewer members would avail themselves of this feature, but those who did would be willing to pay as much as $5-$15 per message. This option ran a substantial risk of alienating members and would prompt some to abandon LinkedIn.

    Keywords: Risk and Uncertainty; Business Growth and Maturation; Search Technology; Social and Collaborative Networks; Business Startups; Growth and Development Strategy; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "LinkedIn (A)." Harvard Business School Case 707-406, July 2006. (Revised February 2007.)
  28. LinkedIn (B)

    Keywords: Web Services Industry; Employment Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "LinkedIn (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 707-407, July 2006. (Revised February 2007.)
  29. LinkedIn (C)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Aaron Smith. "LinkedIn (C)." Harvard Business School Supplement 714-414, October 2013. (Revised January 2014.)
  30. LinkedIn (TN) (A) and (B)

    In the summer of 2005, LinkedIn, a two-year-old start-up, was choosing between two options to monetize its 5 million business people network. Members could contact each other through trusted intermediaries on the network to offer or seek jobs, consulting engagements, expertise, and financing. The company had outpaced its competitors by building the most populous online business network, but it had little revenue to show its investors. The first revenue option entailed keeping the existing features unchanged and rolling out a bundle of eight new services for a monthly fee of $15. These services would be targeted at network members who had forged many connections, logged in frequently, and viewed the profiles of many other members. The second proposal involved changing a basic design feature of LinkedIn by allowing members to contact each other without intermediaries for a fee. Fewer members would avail themselves of this feature, but those who did would be willing to pay as much as $5-$15 per message. This option ran a substantial risk of alienating members and would prompt some to abandon LinkedIn.

    Keywords: Business Startups; Social and Collaborative Networks; Web Sites; Financing and Loans; Revenue; Design; Service Operations;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "LinkedIn (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 708-406, February 2008. (Revised January 2013.)
  31. Friendster (A)

    In January 2006, the president of Friendster needs to choose between two strategic options to revive the company. Friendster started the social networking industry in 2003, but has been overtaken by MySpace and Facebook. The two options are: 1) offer new features to help members enhance their offline lives, such as arranging events with their friends; and 2) offer features, such as the ability to import friends' blogs, pictures, recommendations, and feeds, to help members manage their experiences with their online friends. The two choices have very different value propositions and have very different competitive implications. Also describes the dynamics of relationships inside Friendster and discusses how these dynamics prevented Friendster from maintaining its leadership position. As such, allows for integration of organization and strategy in an entrepreneurial setting, and should be taught with LinkedIn (A) to facilitate cross-case comparisons.

    Keywords: Value Creation; Competitive Advantage; Corporate Entrepreneurship; Social and Collaborative Networks; Brands and Branding; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Friendster (A)." Harvard Business School Case 707-409, September 2006. (Revised February 2007.)
  32. Friendster (B)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "Friendster (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 707-410, September 2006. (Revised February 2007.)
  33. Friendster (TN) (A) and (B)

    Teaching Note for [707409] and [707410].

    Keywords: Entertainment and Recreation Industry; Web Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Friendster (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 708-407, January 2008. (Revised March 2013.)
  34. MySpace

    The case, set in late 2007, examines what MySpace—the largest online social network—should do to respond to its agile competitor, Facebook. Since its inception MySpace had experienced phenomenal growth, acquiring 20 million members in its first 20 months of operation, and another 70 million a year later, to become the most visited website in the United States. Its growth stalled around mid-2007, just a few months after Facebook had released its programming platform which allowed outside programmers to build applications using its social network data. The wealth of new applications on Facebook allowed the company to increase its membership by more than 15% in one month. To remain competitive MySpace had to release its own platform, and now it needs to decide whether to build its own proprietary application platform or join OpenSocial, a Google-sponsored open source platform.

    Keywords: Open Source Distribution; Partners and Partnerships; Social and Collaborative Networks; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Online Technology; Technology Platform; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, David T. Chen, and Carin-Isabel Knoop. "MySpace." Harvard Business School Case 708-499, March 2008. (Revised June 2011.)
  35. MySpace (TN)

    Teaching Note for 708499.

    Keywords: Online Technology; Competitive Advantage; Social and Collaborative Networks; Decisions; Growth and Development; Market Platforms; Web Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "MySpace (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 708-495, March 2008. (Revised March 2013.)
  36. Zynga (A)

    In January 2010 Mark Pincus is deciding how to double the number of Zynga games' players to 500 million without sacrificing profitability. These ambitious growth plans required changes to product, corporate strategy, and customer acquisition and retention. With regard to product Pincus needed to decide to invest in evolving the successful games or develop new games. With regard to corporate strategy, Pincus had to choose whether each game should compete on its own, or force every game to build functionalities that support other Zynga games too. Finally, to ensure customer acquisition and retention Pincus faced the choice between deepening commitment to Facebook or developing its own distribution channels.

    Keywords: Customer Focus and Relationships; Decision Choices and Conditions; Growth and Development Strategy; Distribution Channels; Product Development; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Corporate Strategy; Video Game Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and David Chen. "Zynga (A)." Harvard Business School Case 710-464, February 2010. (Revised March 2013.)
  37. Zynga (B)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J., and Aaron Smith. "Zynga (B)." Harvard Business School Case 713-502, March 2013.
  38. Zynga (TN) (A) and (B)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Zynga (TN) (A) and (B)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-482, January 2013. (Revised March 2013.)
  39. Yelp

    Yelp was a popular online destination for reviews of local establishments, written by volunteer Internet users and read by 60 million people per month. However, the company was far from profitable. The CEO needs to decide between two options to increase the revenue. First, the company can maintain its existing monetization model and quickly build a massive sales force to enroll many local business owners as advertisers and sponsors. The second option was to change the monetization model completely and charge readers for access to Yelp reviews.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Business Model; Profit; Revenue; Marketing Strategy; Sales; Internet; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, David Chen, and Aaron Smith. "Yelp." Harvard Business School Case 709-412, March 2009. (Revised September 2013.)
  40. Yelp (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Yelp (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-490, February 2013.
  41. Wikipedia: Esperanza

    Keywords: Web Sites; Social and Collaborative Networks;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Andreea Daniela Gorbatai, and Tiona Zuzul. "Wikipedia: Esperanza." 2009. Multimedia.
  42. Wikipedia: Project Esperanza

    In October 2006, Wikipedia was the largest volunteer-run on-line encyclopedia which could be freely read and edited by anyone with internet access. Within almost six years of its founding in 2001, the project had attracted hundreds of thousands of editors who had written over 1.2 million articles in English alone. Almost 10 percent of world-wide internet users accessed Wikipedia at least once a month. Just as Wales was stepping down, the editor community was collecting opinions to decide whether to close down an informal association of Wikipedia editors called Esperanza. Some Wikipedia editors, including some of the most prolific ones, really enjoyed the programs. Others firmly believed that Esperanza made editors socialize at the expense of creating content for the encyclopedia. As the editor community was making the final decision on what to do with Esperanza, observers could not help but wonder what effect the decision would have on the types of editors Wikipedia would attract and the content they would produce.

    Keywords: Web-enabled application; Internet; Information Publishing; Social and Collaborative Networks; Groups and Teams; Publishing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Andreea Gorbatai, and Tiona Zuzul. "Wikipedia: Project Esperanza." Harvard Business School Case 712-493, May 2012. (Revised January 2013.)
  43. Wikipedia: Project Esperanza (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Wikipedia: Project Esperanza (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-491, February 2013.
  44. Social Strategy at American Express

    American Express has developed a number of strategic partnerships with Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter to improve their card members experience and lower its customer acquisition cost. The case details the history of these partnerships, examines American Express' own social platforms, and talks about American Express' future plans in the realm of social strategy. It then presents students with two options related to Amex's future options and asks them to pick one.

    Keywords: Strategy; Partners and Partnerships; Social Marketing; Financial Services Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and David Chen. "Social Strategy at American Express." Harvard Business School Case 712-447, April 2012. (Revised March 2013.)
  45. Social Strategy at American Express (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Social Strategy at American Express (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-484, February 2013.
  46. Social Strategy at Nike

    Nike, which first started experimenting with social media and networking in 2004, has been consistently reducing its spending on traditional advertising. Yet, Nike has not pulled back on its overall marketing budget, instead opting to focus on "nontraditional" advertising through new mediums. In doing so, the team hoped to build online communities to foster a closer relationship with its consumers. By 2012 Nike had committed to a social strategy that linked product with experience. Soon the company will discover if this strategic jump will be reflected on the bottom line.

    Keywords: Strategy; Advertising Campaigns; Social and Collaborative Networks; Online Advertising; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Sports Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Ryan Johnson. "Social Strategy at Nike." Harvard Business School Case 712-484, April 2012. (Revised March 2014.)
  47. Social Strategy at Nike (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Social Strategy at Nike (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-477, March 2013.
  48. Social Strategy at Harvard Business Review

    The Harvard Business Review (HBR) Group was an early adopter of social media, boasting a robust presence on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Now the company is seeking to evolve the Group's efforts from social media to social strategy—and start moving both revenue generation and strategy integration into HBR's core. To that end the company created two parallel projects, each tasked with developing two concrete new offerings that leveraged social dynamics on social platforms, while at the same time creating revenues or slashing costs for HBR. Now it has to choose between four different projects.

    Keywords: Competitive Advantage; Social and Collaborative Networks; Web; Publishing Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and David Chen. "Social Strategy at Harvard Business Review." Harvard Business School Case 712-481, April 2012. (Revised March 2013.)
  49. Social Strategy at Harvard Business Review (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Social Strategy at Harvard Business Review (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-476, January 2013.
  50. Yammer (A)

    In Spring 2012, Yammer was on track to become a highly successful standalone company. Yammer was a leading Enterprise Social Network (ESN), providing companies a private social network in which employees could collaborate securely and efficiently. However, later that year, Microsoft executives unexpectedly reached out with an offer to acquire Yammer for $1.2 billion and integrate Yammer into the Microsoft Office division. An integration with Microsoft would have a profound effect on Yammer's scalability, software development, and organizational culture. David Sacks, CEO of Yammer, debated the challenges and opportunities related to competition, product, and culture as he thought about the offer on the table.

    Keywords: Technology Networks; Opportunities; Software; Organizational Culture; Problems and Challenges; Management Teams; Integration; Decision Choices and Conditions; Social and Collaborative Networks; Acquisition; Information Technology Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J., Kerry Herman, and Aaron Smith. "Yammer (A)." Harvard Business School Case 713-407, May 2013.
  51. Yammer (B)

    Supplement to Yammer (A), case 712-494

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J., and Aaron Smith. "Yammer (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 713-483, May 2013.
  52. Barack Obama: Organizing for America 2.0

    Less than a week before Barack Obama was due to be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, Obama for America (OFA), the president-elect's official campaign organization, announced the formation of a post-election organization, Organizing for America. The new organization would keep the campaign field team offices open after Obama took charge of the country for the express purpose of influencing supporters to back his administration's agenda. The case describes the activities of the Obama for America campaign and asks whether the new president should use social media tools to activate the grassroots, or whether he should abandon these unconventional tools in order not to upset politicians in Washington.

    Keywords: Advertising Campaigns; Political Elections; Marketing Communications; Power and Influence; Social and Collaborative Networks; Internet;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Laura Winig, and Aaron Smith. "Barack Obama: Organizing for America 2.0." Harvard Business School Case 709-493, April 2009. (Revised April 2013.)
  53. Barack Obama: Organizing for America 2.0 (TN)

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Barack Obama: Organizing for America 2.0 (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 713-493, March 2013.
  54. Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (A)

    In response to a huge crisis in 2000, the new CEO of Procter & Gamble has to decide whether to continue with an unusual organizational design or to revert to the old matrix organization. Describes all the organizational designs used by Procter & Gamble from the 1920s onward, including geographic, product, and matrix architectures. Market development organizations, global business units, and global business services unit, each of which is heavily interdependent with the others and none of which has a clear decision-making advantage, comprise the unusual organizational design. Examination of the different organizational designs, trade-offs associated with each organizational architecture as well as the accompanying implementation problems.

    Keywords: Global Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Organizational Design; Organizational Structure;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Alessandro L. Spadini. "Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (A)." Harvard Business School Case 707-519, January 2007. (Revised October 2007.)
  55. Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (B)

    Keywords: Organizations; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Alessandro L. Spadini. "Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 707-402, November 2006. (Revised November 2007.)
  56. Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (A) & (B) (TN)

    Teaching Note to 707519 and 707402.

    Keywords: Organizations; Consumer Products Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Procter & Gamble: Organization 2005 (A) & (B) (TN)." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 708-450, October 2007.
  57. Choosing Corporate and Global Scope

    Introduces students to the study of corporate strategy, while providing an overview framework for understanding international strategy. Focuses on questions of scope and ownership. Examines both horizontal and vertical integration. Underscores the point that economies of scope, or the existence of relationship-specific investments, are insufficient to explain effective corporate strategy unless there are important obstacles to contractual solutions.

    Keywords: Economics; Investment; Framework; Global Strategy; Ownership; Corporate Strategy; Horizontal Integration; Vertical Integration;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Choosing Corporate and Global Scope." Harvard Business School Background Note 707-496, January 2007.
  58. Note on Corporate Strategy

    Introduces students to the study of corporate strategy. Focuses on questions of scope and ownership. Examines both horizontal and vertical integration. Underscores the point that economies of scope, or the existence of relationship-specific investments, are insufficient to explain effective corporate strategy unless there are important obstacles to contractual solutions.

    Keywords: Investment; Contracts; Ownership; Corporate Strategy; Horizontal Integration; Vertical Integration;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Note on Corporate Strategy." Harvard Business School Background Note 705-449, January 2005. (Revised February 2006.)
  59. AdMob (A)

    AdMob's CEO is deciding between international expansion and increasing the number of publishers to strengthen the company's advantage in the mobile advertising industry. AdMob displayed advertising on global devices, powered 6,000 websites and 1,000 applications, and served over 6 billion advertising impressions a month to 25 million unique visitors. AdMob's success attracted numerous competitors, such as Millennial Media and Quattro Wireless, both of which were expanding quickly and had raised considerable capital. The company now needs to allocate its limited resources wisely to position it for long-term success.

    Keywords: Online Advertising; Growth and Development Strategy; Resource Allocation; Competition; Competitive Strategy; Expansion; Mobile Technology; Advertising Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Samuel Cohen, and Nithya Vaduganathan. "AdMob (A)." Harvard Business School Case 711-406, July 2010. (Revised December 2010.)
  60. AdMob (B)

    CEO is deciding between international expansion and increasing the number of publishers to strengthen the company's advantage in the mobile advertising industry. AdMob displayed advertising on global devices, and powered 6,000 websites and 1,000 applications, and served over 6 billion advertising impressions a month to 25 million unique visitors. AdMob's success attracted numerous competitors, such as Millennial Media and Quattro Wireless, both of which were expanding quickly and had raised considerable capital. The company now needs to allocate its limited resources wisely to position it for long-term success.

    Keywords: Advertising; Capital; Global Strategy; Resource Allocation; Product Positioning; Competitive Strategy; Expansion; Mobile Technology; Advertising Industry; Telecommunications Industry;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and David Chen. "AdMob (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 711-407, July 2010.
  61. Young Presidents' Organization

    The board of Young Presidents' Organization needs to decide on the future of its Networks Initiative, designed to connect its geographically dispersed membership base through 60 different interest-based networks. So far, one half of these networks have been considered successful, and now the board needs to decide what to do to make the remainder successful. Two options were considered. The first option, called "broad networks," focused on developing weaker ties and entailed keeping the initiative intact but funding it better, by allowing outside sponsors to provide the funds. The second option, called "deep networks," focused on developing strong ties and entailed scaling down the number of networks and providing them with support to encourage deep network formation, all funded internally.

    Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Governing and Advisory Boards; Leadership Development; Growth and Development Strategy; Organizations; Social and Collaborative Networks;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, John D. Macomber, and David Chen. "Young Presidents' Organization." Harvard Business School Case 709-444, April 2009.
  62. Zopa: The Power of Peer-to-Peer Lending

    Zopa, a U.K.-based peer-to-peer lending company, connected individual lenders and borrowers via an online interface. The company charged a small fee for completed loan transactions but has not turned a profit. Zopa offered two platforms, Markets and Listings. Markets was an automated system that assembled loans by combining lowest loan offers from different Zopa lenders. Zopa Listings allowed prospective borrowers to post eBay-like listings explaining who they were, how much money they needed, and how they would use it. Lenders then made offers specifying how much they were willing to lend and at what rate. Neither platform met with much success. In February 2009, the CEO of Zopa is considering withdrawing from Listings, and focusing on Markets, even though in a company in the U.S., Prosper, had attracted many users with a product akin to Zopa Listings.

    Keywords: Financing and Loans; Personal Finance; Market Participation; Market Platforms; Social and Collaborative Networks; Financial Services Industry; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, and David Chen. "Zopa: The Power of Peer-to-Peer Lending." Harvard Business School Case 709-469, March 2009. (Revised September 2011.)

Other Publications and Materials

  1. Networks as Covers: Evidence from On-Line Social Networks

    Sociologists have extensively documented that networks influence market exchange through improved matching and vouching. In this paper, I propose that networks can also blunt the signal of market participation, as actors who are on the market surrounded by their network are pooled together with those who use their networks for other reasons. To control the clarity of that signal, actors would like to choose strategically whether to appear with their networks on the market. However, reality puts restrictions on their ability to do so. On-line social networks, where actors can always appear with their networks, alleviate these restrictions and make the pooling effect stronger. The consequences of greater pooling on-line differ by exchange type. For example, they are positive for actors who are looking for a job, but are already employed, and so cannot be seen as looking. By pooling themselves with actors who are using on-line networks to utilize their social capital better, the employed job seekers can be on the market, while claiming that they are not. However, the greater pooling has negative consequences for actors who are single and earnestly looking for a spouse. In this market, it is important to signal capacity for commitment, so greater pooling of those who are there only for their friends with those who are ready to commit works against the latter. Data used to derive these arguments come from an extensive qualitative research project with various on-line social networks, recruiters, employees, as well as those who are looking for a job or for a relationship.

    Keywords: Job Search; Knowledge Use and Leverage; Market Participation; Market Transactions; Social and Collaborative Networks; Online Technology;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Networks as Covers: Evidence from On-Line Social Networks." September 2011.
  2. Deference from Low-status Firms: Maintaining Status without Resources

    This paper proposes a set of conditions under which high-status firms retain their positions, even if they lose resources. Firms are considered high status if they obtain ties from other high-status firms. Within the class of high-status firms, we distinguish between those that receive ties only from high-status firms and those that also receive ties from low-status firms. Although ties from low-status firms contribute little to a firm's status, we hypothesize that they play a critical role in maintaining it in the event of resource loss. Specifically, following resource loss, high-status firms without ties from low-status firms will lose their status, but those with ties from low-status firms will retain it. Results of an empirical examination of venture capital syndicate formation in the United States yield support for these predictions.

    Keywords: Business Ventures; Venture Capital; Financial Condition; Alliances; Rank and Position; Status and Position; Financial Services Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Bharat N. Anand. "Deference from Low-status Firms: Maintaining Status without Resources." 2011.
  3. Positions of Power and Status: Reciprocity in the Venture Capital Industry

    This paper proposes a straightforward way of differentiating between central network positions that confer power from those that confer status. I argue that actors achieve high status by receiving numerous exchanges from actors who receive numerous exchanges from others. In contrast, power is obtained by engaging in exchanges with numerous alternative exchange partners, whose exchange opportunities are limited. These distinctions yield powerful insights into dynamics and consequences of power and status. Specifically, I show that possession of status brings higher benefits than possession of power. However, status puts greater constraints on mobility than power does, as it is harder for a high status actor than for a high power actor to acquire the high power, high status position.

    Keywords: Venture Capital; Power and Influence; Opportunities; Status and Position;

  4. Structural Closure and Exposure: Market Reactions to Announcements of Acquisitions and Divestitures

    Keywords: Acquisition; Business Exit or Shutdown; Market Entry and Exit;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan, and Nitin Nohria. "Structural Closure and Exposure: Market Reactions to Announcements of Acquisitions and Divestitures." September 2006.
  5. Positional Limits to Competitive Allocation: Evidence from Corporate Takeovers

    Keywords: Management; Equality and Inequality;

Working Papers

  1. Separating Homophily and Peer Influence with Latent Space

    We study the impact of peer behavior on the adoption of mobile apps in a social network. To identify social influence properly, we introduce latent space as an approach to control for latent homophily, the idea that "birds of a feather flock together." In a series of simulations, we show that latent space coordinates significantly reduce bias in the estimate of social influence. The intuition is that latent coordinates act as proxy variables for hidden traits that give rise to latent homophily. The approach outperforms existing methods such as including observed covariates, random effects, or fixed effects. We then apply the latent space approach to identify social influence on installation of mobile apps in a social network. We find that peer influence accounts for 27% of mobile app adoptions, and that latent homophily inflates this estimate by 40% (to 38%). In some samples, ignoring latent homophily can result in overestimation of social effects by over 100%.

    Keywords: social influence; social network; mobile app; peer effects; latent homophily; latent space; proxy variables; Familiarity; Behavior; Consumer Behavior; Software; Social and Collaborative Networks; Mobile Technology; Power and Influence;

    Citation:

    Davin, Joseph P., Sunil Gupta, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "Separating Homophily and Peer Influence with Latent Space." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 14-053, January 2014.
  2. Testing Coleman's Social-Norm Enforcement Mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia

    Since Durkheim, sociologists have believed that dense network structures lead to fewer norm violations. Coleman (1990) proposed one mechanism generating this relationship and argued that dense networks provide an opportunity structure to reward those who punish norm violators, leading to more frequent punishment and in turn fewer norm violations. Despite ubiquitous scholarly references to Coleman's theory, little empirical work has directly tested it in large-scale natural settings with longitudinal data. We undertake such a test using records of norm violations during the editing process on Wikipedia, the largest user-generated on-line encyclopedia. These data allow us to track all three elements required to test Coleman's mechanism: norm violations, punishments for such violations and rewards for those who punish violations. The results are broadly consistent with Coleman's mechanism.

    Keywords: Governance Compliance; Governance Controls; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Information Publishing; Social and Collaborative Networks; Social Issues; Societal Protocols;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj J., and Andreea Gorbatai. "Testing Coleman's Social-Norm Enforcement Mechanism: Evidence from Wikipedia." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 11-055, December 2010. (Revised September 2011, March 2013.)
  3. Competing by Restricting Choice: The Case of Search Platforms

    Seminal papers recommend that platforms in two-sided markets increase the number of complements available. We show that a two-sided platform can successfully compete by limiting the choice of potential matches it offers to its customers while charging higher prices than platforms with unrestricted choice. Starting from microfoundations, we find that increasing the number of potential matches not only has a positive effect due to larger choice, but also a negative effect due to competition between agents on the same side. Agents with heterogeneous outside options resolve the trade-off between the two effects differently. For agents with a lower outside option, the competitive effect is stronger than the choice effect. Hence, these agents have higher willingness to pay for a platform restricting choice. Agents with a higher outside option prefer a platform offering unrestricted choice. Therefore, the two platforms may coexist without the market tipping. Our model helps explain why platforms with different business models coexist in markets, including on-line dating, housing and labor markets.

    Keywords: matching platform; indirect network effects; limits to network effects; Decision Choices and Conditions; Network Effects; Two-Sided Platforms; Marketplace Matching; Competitive Strategy;

    Citation:

    Halaburda, Hanna, and Mikolaj Jan Piskorski. "Competing by Restricting Choice: The Case of Search Platforms." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 10-098, May 2010. (Revised June 2010, March 2011, August 2011, March 2013.)
  4. Networks as Covers: Evidence from an On-Line Social Network

    This paper proposes that networks give actors a cover by giving them the excuse of sociability to engage in normatively prohibited market behaviors. I apply this hypothesis to actors in long-term exclusive relationships who are surreptitiously seeking new relationships without jeopardizing their current ones. I hypothesize that these actors will be drawn to social environments where others socialize with their friends, and that they will establish numerous relationships in these environments to cover up their real intent. I find significant support for these predictions using data from a large on-line social network.

    Keywords: Strategy; Behavior; Ethics; Relationships; Social and Collaborative Networks;

    Citation:

    Piskorski, Mikolaj Jan. "Networks as Covers: Evidence from an On-Line Social Network." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 13-083, March 2013.