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International Institute for Management Development
IMD Logo.png
Logo of IMD
Established 1990
Type Private
President John Wells
Faculty 55
Staff 300
Students 8000
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: 60'000

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a non profit business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland.


History & 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 settled in Lausanne.

Its industrial heritage sets it apart from the other leading business schools, which are all university-affiliated[1]. IMD is set up as a business school that solely provides executive education; it is determinedly not part of a university and there are no academic departments, but 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 22 different nationalities. The current President is John. R. Wells. His predecessor Peter Lorange, who ran the school from 1993 till 2008, has been widely credited with having established the institute as one of the world's leading business schools [1] [2].

IMD has a strong focus on training and developing general management and leadership skills. IMD selects therefore experienced candidates for both the MBA (average age 31) and the EMBA (average age 39). Its other focus is to have a broad international group of participants attending the courses to ensure that no nationality dominates. It intentionally doesn't set up branches in other countries, but brings the participants together in Lausanne to stimulate cross-cultural interaction. 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 and the EMBA program
  • Executive education: open enrollment and company custom programs

MBA program

The school's MBA program is a one-year program, which runs from January through December, with a short summer break. Classes are held 6 days per week, with one full weekend off each month. The school deliberately keeps the number of participants small, admitting no more than 90 students. Each class includes participants from many countries to ensure that no nationality dominates. The MBA program focuses strongly on general management instead of functional expertise, and as a result the majority (70%) of the graduates typically get recruited within the industry sector versus with investment banks and consulting firms, as is the case with the other major schools. [3]. Regular recruiters are Shell, Philips, Nestlé, Unilever, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson, Nokia and Novartis.

EMBA program

The curriculum of the EMBA is different from the MBA, because it targets experienced managers that are at a different point in their career. It has a strong focus on leadership skills, integrated business themes and on the immediate practical application of the subject matter. The 70 selected candidates, which average age is 39, typically have broad international business experience. They stay on campus in Lausanne for certain periods, visit Silicon Valley, Shanghai and India and do in-company assignments. Companies that frequently send their employees to the EMBA program are Shell, Maersk, Novartis, Nokia and UBS.

Executive education

Executive education is a fundamental part of the school activities and caters among other to the needs of its large partner network of major global corporations[1]. 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 exclusive alliance with the MIT Sloan Business school. The two schools offer jointly developed programs at both their campuses[4].


IMD's approach to research is in line with its mission of Real World, Real Learning; focussed on the strategic and practical issues that international executives face. Around 25% of IMD's cost goes into research. IMD gains its insight through a couple of ways. First of all many professors act on a regular basis as consultants to enterprises. The significant focus on customized education gives the faculty another way of learning from its customers. Furthermore IMD has several thought leaderships forums where executives from its network of partner companies do participate in. Finally IMD has a number of research centers set up for specific themes like for example China or Corporate Sustainability. Its most well known research center is the World Competitiveness Center, which publishes the World Competitiveness Yearbook every year.

World Competitiveness Yearbook

IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook is a well known report on the competitiveness of nations. It provides several customized rankings, whether by size, by wealth, by regions, etc. as well as country competitiveness profiles and analysis. The Overall Competitiveness Scoreboard, which ranks the world's 57 leading economic nations, is calculated by combining four factors of competitiveness: economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure[1].


  • Financial Times - "Ranking of the Rankings" combines results of all major MBA rankings (alternate years):
    • 2007: #1 in Europe & Internationally
  • Financial Times - Executive Education: non degree programs:
    • 2009: #1 outside the US and #2 worldwide
    • 2008: #1 Europe for open enrollment programs
    • 2008: #1 Europe for customized courses
    • 2008: #1 Global for combined ranking of open enrollment and customized courses
  • The Economist - MBA, Surveys current participants and alumni about career opportunities; personal development & educational experience; salary increase; and potential to network:
    • 2008: # 1 Global
  • Business Week - MBA,Surveys both MBA alumni and the recruiters who hire them (alternate years):
    • 2006: #4 among non-US business schools
  • Wall Street Journal - MBA,Surveys recruiters about their perception of the school’s graduates and the career services support:
    • 2007: #2 Internationally
  • Forbes - MBA,Surveys alumni to measure return on investment (alternate years):
    • 2007: #1 among 1 year programs

IMD Alumni


External links


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