The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a small, independent private business school located in the Swiss city of Lausanne, created in 1990 by the merger of IMI Geneva and IMEDE Lausanne.
It has drawn much of its distinctive quality from the origins of its predecessors. Both were rooted in industry rather than finance, with IMI founded by Alcan in 1946 and IMEDE by Nestle in 1957. Around 70 per cent of its graduates go to industrial jobs rather than, as with many other MBA programmes, the financial sector.
Operating under the slogans of "Real learning, real impact" and "Swiss roots and global reach", it has chosen to remain small, focussed and exclusive, offering an MBA – a one-year full-time course running from January to December – and an executive MBA, but not expanding into doctoral or other executive courses.
IMD has Triple Crown accreditation and its courses emphasise personal development, leadership and general management skills rather than financial techniques.
Students are recruited via a written test followed by an assessment day, with an interview, presentation and case discussion. This occurs either in IMD’s Lausanne building, an 18th Century mansion called “La Residence” or its single satellite campus, the South East Asia Executive Learning Centre in Singapore, created in 2015.
Potential EMBA students are expected to have at least 10 years of business experience. Alumni include Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 2010.
Other than its courses, IMD is best known for expertise on competitiveness and the annual World Competitiveness Yearbook, which reached its 30th edition – in which the USA displaced Hong Kong from top place – in 2018.