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.​

  1. Competing with Social Networks

    MBA EC 1217

    Career Focus

    Competing with Social Networks is a Strategy class targeted at students considering careers in high technology, entertainment, social media or consumer packaged goods. It will be useful for students considering consulting careers, careers inside companies as well as for students who are planning to start their own Web 2.0 companies. Frequent protagonist visits will help students establish relationships required to be effective in this space.

    Educational Objectives

    The course introduces the social failure framework which helps us understand why so many people find social interactions online so appealing. Second, it introduces the social platform framework to understand how firms can successfully address these social failures, and help people interact in ways they are unable to in the offline world. Third, it outlines the social strategy framework which helps us understand how large and established firms can leverage social platforms for competitive advantage.

    Course Content

    There are three modules in the course. In the first module, we use courseware to establish what social failures are and where they come from. In the second module, we examine why some social platforms succeeded while others failed. Here we examine cases on: eHarmony, MeetUp, Twitter, Facebook, mixi, LinkedIn, Friendster and MySpace. In the third module, we examine how small and large firms can leverage social platforms for competitive advantage. Here we examine cases on: Zynga, Yelp, Wikipedia, American Express, Nike, Harvard Business Review, Cisco, and Barack Obama. Field projects complement our discussions.


    Winter 2009  Competing with Social Networks 2009
    Winter 2010  Competing with Social Networks 2010

    Keywords: social networks;