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About this course
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Academic foundation: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognised college or university (although in exceptional circumstances, we may waive this requirement for outstanding candidates with substantial professional experience). Many of our applicants have advanced degrees but this is not compulsory. To assess your academic background, we consider the competitiveness of the institution you attended and your academic performance.
GMAT: all applicants are required to take a GMAT test as it provides us with a standardised way of evaluating candidates. While we do not have a minimum score required for admission, we advise candidates to aim for a score at or above the 70th-75th percentile for both the quantitative and verbal sections of the GMAT. Please keep in mind, however, that standardised tests are just one of several admission criteria. A high score does not guarantee admission, and a below average score does not eliminate a candidate.
In countries where the GMAT test is not offered, we will accept a GRE test instead. Similarly, a GRE test is acceptable for prospective students looking to follow the Dual Degree path. A score above 85% for the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE is highly recommended.
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Organisational Behaviour 1 (OB1) – P1
The course combines conceptual, empirical, and experiential approaches. We draw on four valuable sources of knowledge to accomplish this:
Structure of a Typical Class Meeting
Organisational Behaviour 2 (OB2) – P2
Succeeding within an organisation, whether as a newly hired analyst or a CEO, requires an understanding of how organisations work. Effective managers and leaders must learn not only how to develop winning strategies, but also how to implement them with the help of other people. While your own personal traits, abilities, skills, and knowledge will be valuable tools throughout your career, as you move up through any organisation it is increasingly critical that you understand and leverage the organisation’s dynamics.
For each obstacle your organisation places in front of you, it also provides you the tools you need to overcome it. To deal with increased responsibility and closer scrutiny from executives, we will learn how to use informal networks and how to enhance your power and influence. To deal with entrenched culture, we will learn how to use culture itself to shape and change behaviour. To deal with the challenges faced during organisational change, we will learn about the dynamics of organisations as social systems and their link to our individual psychology
In this course we will explore the complex systems known as organisations, identifying the tactics and tools that will allow you to get things done to be better prepared for the impending transition each of you will face as you rise within your firms or start new ones. The most effective businesspeople understand how groups and organisations function and which levers they can pull to guide them.
The goal in this course is to arm you with the skills and knowledge required to understand and act upon the key issues facing organisations within today’s dynamic global environment. This course builds on OB1 but focuses on concepts related to organisational design, culture, and strategy - each of which is critical to effectively functioning in and leading organisations. We will draw on four sources of knowledge to accomplish our goal: (1) integrated, action oriented conceptual frameworks and research findings from social sciences: organisation studies, sociology, political science, economics, anthropology, and psychology; (2) analyses of business cases and media accounts of real leaders in real organisations facing real problems; (3) simulations and exercises to allow you to experience the processes and dynamics in question; and (4) your own observations to help you understand your own past (and future) work experiences. The class will be interactive, and active participation in discussions is expected. The course will equip you for advanced OB electives such as Psychological Issues in Management, Negotiations, Leadership & Communication, Embracing Complex Change, and Power & Politics.
A Working Framework
Embracing Complex Change - P3
Insead students rarely find the time to stop and think about their lives either at INSEAD or in their work life. Embracing Complex Change is designed to provide a context where you can take the time to reflect on the journey that has brought you to your current situation and how you would like to develop in the future. Your learning is dependent on your commitment to deepen your understanding of yourself, others and relationships. Past participants report that the relationships built in the course are often the most enduring from their INSEAD experience.
Understanding the challenges and benefits facing Global Cosmopolitans will be an integral aspect of the course. Global Cosmopolitans, people that have developed their sense of self in more than one culture and more than one language, often find it crucial to look at what they have learned from their journeys and how can they both continue developing and at the same time maintain a core sense of who they are.
Participants write a critical review of personal experiences, decisions and transitions that have had an impact on the shape of their lives. A combination of a narrative and an analytical approach to understanding development and change over time will be used to help participants clarify the challenges and sources of meaning that define who they are and the possible implications for the next phase of their lives and careers.
Identity as a life story, that develops and changes over time will be explored. Questions will be raised about the impact of culture, family and relationships on the development of that story.
An experiential approach to understanding the challenges of personal change will be utilized. Participants work on personal change and coaching projects as part of a focus on change in one’s life and creating change in organizations. They also have an opportunity to look at the role of change in life stories and its impact on the ability to manage changing circumstances and on leading change in organizations.
Relational awareness and relational competence are key constructs used for this course. Structured dialogue is designed to facilitate personal knowledge as well as challenge it. Possibilities for constructive feedback and coaching experiences will be encouraged. Learning how to tell your story and learning from the stories that others have to tell is an essential aspect of this course.
An emphasis will be placed on lifelong learning. The course is designed to challenge what you think you know already about yourself, others, relationships and the impact of the intersection of your living and working environments on your identity.
Commitment to the process of self-assessment requires your active involvement in the process. The class size of Embracing Complex Change is limited to insure a mutually respectful, yet challenging, atmosphere.
Negotiations - P3 and P4
We negotiate every day -- with potential employers, coworkers, clients, suppliers, significant others, parents, roommates, landlords, service providers, etc. Determining what price we will pay, the amount of our salary and compensation, what movie to watch, who will clean the kitchen … all of these are negotiations. Although negotiations are a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, many of us know little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiations. Why do we sometimes get our way, while other times we walk away feeling frustrated by our inability to achieve the agreement we desire?
Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more parties who are interdependent and who are seeking to maximize their outcomes. This course is designed to address a broad spectrum of problems that are faced by the manager and the professional in negotiations. It will highlight the components of an effective negotiation and teach you to analyze your own behavior in negotiations.
The course will be largely experiential, providing you with the opportunity to develop your skills by participating in negotiations and integrating your experiences with the principles presented in the assigned readings and course discussions. Each exercise has been chosen to highlight the central concepts that underlie negotiation strategy. They will provide you with an opportunity to attempt strategies and tactics in a low-risk environment, and to learn about yourself and how you respond in specific negotiation situations. The course is sequenced so that cumulative knowledge can be applied and practiced.
A basic premise of this course is that while a manager needs analytical skills to develop optimal solutions to problems, a broad array of negotiation skills is needed for these solutions to be accepted and implemented. Successful completion of this course will enable you to recognize, understand, and analyze essential concepts and processes of negotiation as they are practiced in a variety of settings.
Psychological Issues in Management (PIM) – P4
This course is about the psychological forces that influence the exercise of management and leadership. Its purpose is to enhance participants’ personal and professional ability to lead mindfully, effectively and responsibly in a range of contemporary workplaces.
PIM incorporates a significant reflective component, both individual and with others. It is best suited for those who view professional and personal lives as deeply intertwined, who view work as a potential source of personal meaning and fulfillment, and who aspire to do work that clarifies and reflects who they are. We will be addressing topics and dilemmas that have both professional and personal facets, and focusing on how we can understand and navigate them.
The course rests on a theoretical foundation of social science research. The primary course material, however, is neither theories nor research evidence. It is your own questions and experiences. P.I.M. invites you to pursue your personal learning agenda by examining your experiences individually, and with your classmates. How much you learn will depend on how deeply you explore the issues and questions that the course raises. This requires personal commitment, intellectual work, and emotional involvement.
The main objective of PIM is to enhance your psychological mindedness—the ability to attend to, reflect upon, and learn from, your experience in your daily life and work. The course will provide opportunities to (1) deepen your knowledge of the psychological forces that underpin the emergence and exercise of management and leadership, (2) develop your ability to remain psychologically present in the moment, (3) uncover the ways your history and aspirations interact with groups and social systems to shape the way you think, feel and act in work roles.
Communication and Leadership – P5
Successful leaders are highly effective communicators. Communication capability and approach affect the “perception” and “reality” of business, professional and leadership performance. Indeed, a CEO might equally be called the chief “explanation, engagement or enlightenment” officer.
This course explores the relationship between effective leadership and effective communication. Our course framework is built upon understanding ‘communication intelligence’ for leaders as they connect people, ideas and actions in the business environment.
As people expand their career responsibilities, they deal with increasingly complex issues, audiences and situations – from job interviews to shareholder meetings; from performance conversations to client presentations; from team discussions to media appearances.
Leaders need to communicate at interpersonal and public levels – especially through speaking, listening, interacting, and behaviours. To be effective communicators, leaders are aware of themselves, others and the context in which they communicate. They know what medium to use, and how to use it. They develop and deliver relevant, memorable and clear messages that resonate with audiences. They display visible presence. They convert nervous energy into performance energy. They demonstrate a deep desire and ability to listen. Their personal communication approach is central to their leadership “brand” and values.
This course is integrated and linked across all sessions. This allows students to develop their understanding of, and build skills and approaches for, their own style of effective leadership communication. The classes involve multiple learning formats – lectures; cases; practical exercises; interactive learning (including video); and performance. In addition to the underlying academic content, the course also builds a personal “tool-kit” of techniques for effective communication directly relevant to their future business career and leadership development.
Power and Politics: Social Networks – P5
Power is one of the most fundamental concepts in the social sciences. Throughout history, people have been fascinated by power. From philosophers, to politicians, to even comic book writers, people have observed that regardless of whether you have a desire or disdain for it, power plays a pivotal role in societies and organizations. The purpose of this course is to help you (i) understand, (ii) analyze, and (iii) harness power. The psychology of power is intricate. Both anecdotal evidence and decades of research have shown that power can dramatically impact the way we think, feel and behave—in ways we do not expect. This course will illuminate the intrapersonal, psychophysiological, and interpersonal effects of power. Through understanding the psychology of power, you will learn practical and useful political skills that will help you navigate and manage power dynamics in organizations. These skills will allow you to lead effectively regardless of where you are in your career trajectory.
This course includes conceptual models, tactical approaches, and simulation exercises to help you understand political dynamics as they unfold around you. By focusing on specific expressions of power and influence, this course provides you with the opportunity to observe effective and ineffective uses of power in different organizational contexts and career stages. It will also introduce difficult ethical questions associated with the use of power and influence. By design, this course will challenge you to define for yourself what will constitute the ethical exercise of power and influence in your life. The objectives of the course are to help you:
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How to Apply
English language certification (Only required if English is not your native language)
We accept TOEFL, TOEIC, IELTS, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and the Certificate of Proficiency in English test. For INSEAD purposes, scores are valid for two years. With the TOEFL, please arrange to have ETS send your test scores directly to INSEAD, code 0970. For PTE Academic, the relevant code for INSEAD is:22W-R2-00. As with the GMAT, a copy of your score report is sufficient for us to begin evaluating your file. Your original test score report will only be required later on during the evaluation process.
You can also demonstrate fluency in English by a degree from a university where all courses were taught exclusively in this language. If your university degree was exclusively taught in English but in a non-English speaking country, proof that the language of instruction was English must be sent with your application.
Entry language certification (If English is your native language)
For more details, please see the Languages section. If you are unable to supply certification at the time of your application, the deadline is 1st June for the September intake, and 1st November for the January intake.
Letters of Recommendation
Two professional recommendation letters are required, providing information about your leadership and management potential. As such, at least one recommendation should come from your workplace; your current supervisor or manager is usually a good choice. The other recommendation should be from someone who has had a chance to evaluate you in a professional setting, for example, a client, a former supervisor or a colleague from your community service or extracurricular activities. Academic recommendations are acceptable but they are less likely to address our main interest, which is to assess your ability to work with and manage others as well as your potential for senior management. If you feel it would add value to your application, you may also upload an optional third letter of recommendation as part of the supporting documents.
It is important to note that your recommenders can submit their online letters to us at their earliest convenience after receiving their links, and no later than 48 hours after the application deadline, to which you are applying.
Your curriculum vitae can either be on a free format or follow the format of the INSEAD official CV e-book.
Please also attach scanned copies of your transcripts and diploma and any other documents you wish to share with the Admissions Team.
Your transcripts should indicate both diploma and grades achieved from each college or university that you have attended. We accept transcripts in English or French. All others must be accompanied by a certified English translation. Each transcript must bear the official seal and signature of the institution.
The transcripts need to reach the Admissions Office by the deadline. For us to start processing your application, the transcripts may be either uploaded with the application form (scanned copies) or sent to INSEAD via post by the applicant or by the academic institution directly.
The size of each of your attachments should not exceed 1 MB. If you have more documents to send, please divide your pages and upload two lighter documents instead of a single big one.
Should you be admitted to the MBA Programme, you will be asked to send your original transcripts and degree to the Admissions Office by post. Photocopies are only accepted if officially certified by a public or professional body (solicitor, embassy, town hall, etc.).
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