International Institute for Management Development

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Logo of IMD
Established 1990 (IMD was established in 1990 following the merger of two business schools: IMI, founded in Geneva by Alcan in 1946; and IMEDE, founded in Lausanne in 1957 by Nestlé) [1]
Type Private Business School
President Dominique Turpin
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students 8,000
Location Lausanne, Switzerland
46°31′N 6°37′E / 46.51°N 6.62°E / 46.51; 6.62Coordinates: 46°31′N 6°37′E / 46.51°N 6.62°E / 46.51; 6.62
Campus Urban
Alumni: 75,000

IMD business school is in Lausanne, Switzerland. It is one of the world's premier business and management institutions. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, it was ranked first in open programs worldwide by the Financial Times.[citation needed] It offers the world's best MBA program according to Forbes 2011 and 2013 biennial rankings.[citation needed]

History and mission[edit]

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.[2] The new organization, the International Institute for Management Development (IMD), settled in Lausanne.

Its industrial heritage sets it apart from the other leading business schools, which are all university-affiliated.[3] 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.[3][4]

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 39). 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:

MBA program[edit]

The school's MBA program is a one-year full-time program, it is very intense and the school claims to include as many learning hours as other traditional two-year programs. The program runs from January through December with a short summer break. The school deliberately keeps the number of participants small, admitting no more than 90 students through a selective admission process that requires attending a full assessment day on the campus. Each class includes participants from various countries.[8]

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.[citation needed]

The average salaries for the IMD MBA graduates are among the highest in the world and for the 90 students there are more than 60 companies attending the recruiting fair on the campus. Based on the employment report, the average salary is around $142,000 a year.[9]

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.

EMBA program[edit]

The curriculum of the EMBA is different from the MBA because it targets experienced managers with at least 15 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 two components: the foundation stage 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 39 and according to the Financial Times are the most experienced group of EMBAs in the world.[citation needed]

Executive education[edit]

Executive education is a fundamental part of the school activities.[3] 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 also has an alliance with the MIT Sloan School of Management. The two schools offer jointly-developed programs at both their campuses.[10]

IMD Global Centers[edit]

IMD Global Family Business Center[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.

The IMD Global Center for Sustainability Leadership[edit]

The IMD Global Center for Sustainability Leadership runs learning events and carries out empirical research, case studies and company-specific projects to mainstream corporate sustainability strategies.

Research Centers[edit]

IMD World Competitiveness Center (WCC)[edit]

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.

The Center for Corporate Sustainability Management (CSM)[edit]

CSM is a research and learning initiative at IMD. CSM aims to be the academic partner of companies on their "sustainability journey," helping them to embed their sustainability strategies in a variety of ways. CSM endeavors to build a sustainable business advantage for its member companies through social and environmental strategic action.

The Evian Group IMD[edit]

Founded in 1995, The Evian Group IMD is an international coalition of corporate, governmental, and opinion leaders, committed to fostering an open, inclusive, equitable and sustainable global market economy in a rules-based multilateral framework. It advocates trade liberalization to achieve growth and sustain the momentum of globalization. The Evian Group believes that international trade and investment has the great potential of uniting people through greater mutual understanding and common interest across countries, continents, cultures, and generations.


  • Forbes: Best Business Schools - MBA - surveys alumni to measure return on investment (alternate years)
    • 2013: #1 Internationally [11]
  • Business Week: MBA - surveys both MBA alumni and the recruiters who hire them (alternate years)
  • Eduniversal: The Best 1,000 Business schools in 154 countries
    • 2013: #1 In Switzerland, #9 in Western Europe and #13 worldwide.[16]

IMD Alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]