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International Institute for Management Development

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Administrative staff

Jean-François Manzoni

January 1990


+41 21 618 01 11

Number of students

Academic staff

International Institute for Management Development

Private Business School

1990 (IMD was established in 1990 following the merger of two business schools: IMI, in Geneva and IMEDE, Lausanne)

Lausanne, Vaud, Switzerland

Chemin de Bellerive 23, 1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

Notable alumni
Mark Rutte, Harsh Goenka, Susanne Klatten, Diego Molano Vega, Oswald Grübel

INSEAD, University of St Gallen, IESE Business School, IE Business School, HEC Paris


IMD is a business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, it was ranked first in open programs worldwide by the Financial Times. The FT also places IMD in the top 3 combined ranking and top 5 in custom programs worldwide.


History and mission

IMD was formed in January 1990 through the merger of independent management education centers International Management Institute (Geneva) (IMI), established in 1946 by Alcan, and Institut pour l'Etude des Methodes de Direction de l'Entreprise (IMEDE) Lausanne established in 1957 by Nestlé. The new organization, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), settled in Lausanne. The history of IMEDE and its merger with IMI is documented in Jean-Pierre Jeannet and Hein Schreuder (2015, chapters 2 and 4)

Its industrial heritage sets it apart from the other leading business schools, which are all university-affiliated. IMD business school solely provides executive education; it is determinedly not part of a university, and there are no academic departments, just one integrated multidisciplinary faculty. The professors do not have permanent academic tenure but work under one-year contracts and a performance based pay package. The faculty consists of 60 full-time members, made up of 23 different nationalities. The current President is Dominique Turpin, who follows John R. Wells and Peter Lorange. The latter ran the school from 1993 till 2008 and has been widely credited with having established IMD as one of the world's leading business schools.

IMD has a strong focus on training and developing general management and leadership skills. IMD selects experienced candidates for both the Master of Business Administration (MBA) (average age 31) and the Executive MBA (average age 41). Its other focus is to have a broad international group of participants attending open programs to ensure that no nationality dominates. Every year, some 8,000 executives, representing over 98 nationalities attend one of the programs.


IMD has two main educational offerings:

  • Degree programs: the MBA, the EMBA and the Dual EMBA IMD-CKGSB programs
  • Executive education: open enrollment and company custom programs
  • The degree programs have triple accreditation by AACSB, AMBA, and EFMD(EQUIS).
  • MBA program

    The school's MBA program is a one-year full-time program. The program runs from January through December without any break (summer is dedicated for a Company Engagement Project). Each class includes 90 participants from various countries.

    The MBA program focuses strongly on personal development, leadership, and general management instead of functional expertise, and as a result, the majority (70%) of the graduates typically get positions in the industrial rather than the financial sector, unlike other major schools. Students will benefit from close contact with executives on site given IMD has been recognised as the best business school for open program in executive education from 2012 to 2016. Moreover, Students will also enjoy several trips to further expand their knowledge and activate their network: one discovery expedition (one week in a developed country and one week in a developing country), a Europe trip and a trip to reflect on dilemma. Finally, each student will have to participate to the International Consulting Project during fall where he or she will be part of a team and work as consultant on a project designed by various companies.

    Admission to the MBA program requires a bachelor's degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, GMAT and a minimum three years full-time work experience, as well as strong command of written and spoken English and one language in addition to English. Applicants who are deemed successful in the first, written stage of the application process are invited to the second stage, an interview process called the IMD Assessment Day. The Assessment Day is a full-day event held either in IMD’s campus in Lausanne, Switzerland, or in Singapore. It involves a personal interview, a short presentation, a business case discussion, and an MBA class observation. The final admissions decision is communicated within 2 weeks of the Assessment Day.

    EMBA program

    The curriculum of the EMBA is different from the MBA because it targets experienced managers with at least 10 years of experience who seek to strengthen their careers without leaving their jobs. The average class size is around 55 participants of more than 20 nationalities. The program has three components: the foundations for business leadership, the advanced management concepts and the mastery stage. All together the program takes over one year. It has a strong focus on leadership skills, integrated business themes, and on the immediate practical application of the subject matter. The 55 selected students have an average age of 41 and according to the Financial Times are the most experienced group of EMBAs in the world.

    Dual EMBA program

    The IMD-CKGSB Dual Executive MBA has been designed for high-potential, internationally minded executives with at least 10 years' experience, who are deeply committed to pursuing a career that leads the way between China and the world.

    Executive education

    Executive education is a fundamental part of the school activities. IMD's industrial heritage has led to this strong focus of developing programs with and for its corporate partners. Half of the school's revenue is generated by company specific programs and 45% by open enrollment programs.

    IMD Global Family Business Center

    For close to a generation, IMD has worked with leading global family businesses. The Global Family Business Center pursues ongoing, highly relevant research and provides a wide range of educational offerings.

    IMD Global Value Chain Center

    The IMD Global Value Chain 2020 Center is a consortium initiative with corporations to explore and develop future best practices in business models and value chains. The research program centers on twelve strategic questions derived from mega-trends that have changed value chains over the last decade as well as emerging mega-trends that will dominate in the next decade.

    IMD Global Board Center

    IMD has provided board education for leading organizations for the last 35 years. The IMD Global Board Center carries out governance research and provides a wide range of education opportunities to support long-term business success through a strong board.

    Digital business transformation center

    The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, an IMD and Cisco initiative provides world-leading research and analysis on digital business transformation. It prepares executives to lead their organizations into the digital era to take advantage of digital opportunities and manage disruptive threats. Full-time researchers from both IMD and Cisco draw from diverse backgrounds to drive the DBT Center’s thought leadership strategy.

    IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC)

    The IMD World Competitiveness Center has been a pioneer in the field of competitiveness of nations and enterprises since 1989. It is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge on world competitiveness by gathering the latest and most relevant data on the subject and by analyzing the policy consequences. The WCC conducts its mission in cooperation with a network of 54 partner institutes worldwide to provide the government, business, and academic community with the following products: IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, World Competitiveness Yearbook Online, special country/regional competitiveness reports, and workshops on competitiveness.


    International Institute for Management Development Wikipedia

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