David Bach

Professor of Strategy and Political Economy and Dean of Innovation and Programs

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David Bach is Professor of Strategy and Political Economy and Dean of Innovation and Programs. He is a political economy expert with a proven track record of creating impactful learning journeys in a dual role as both Professor and Dean.

Through his award-winning teaching and writing, Bach helps managers and senior executives develop a strategic lens for the nexus of business and politics. This enables them to more effectively navigate the myriad political challenges facing business, from corporate diplomacy and resurgent economic nationalism to stakeholder demands for greater sustainability and shaping policies for a post-COVID-19 world. His course The End of Globalization? – designed in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and the rise of populist leaders across Western democracies – received the 2018 Ideas Worth Teaching Award from the Aspen Institute.

Dean of Innovation and Programs at IMD, he has led efforts to enhance the school’s global reach and impact through both programmatic and pedagogical innovation.

IMD faculty and expert staff already set the bar for real learning with real impact on our campuses in Lausanne and Singapore, and at client sites around the world. In keeping with our mission to ‘challenge what is and inspire what could be,’ my goal for IMD is to similarly become the reference point for digital design and delivery, and to be unrivalled in our ability to craft learning journeys for our clients that combine the best of in-person and online – reaching more leaders in more places, more effectively, and driving greater impact.

Bach is one of the main architects of the Global Network for Advanced Management, an alliance of 32 top global business schools from five continents, of which IMD has been a member since 2012. In his previous position at Yale School of Management, where he served as Deputy Dean, he led the successful expansion of the school’s degree program portfolio and the creation of Yale Center Beijing, which he oversaw until joining IMD.

What drew him to IMD was the institution’s outstanding faculty, its innovative, global character, and a relentless focus on real impact.

“I’m thrilled to be surrounded by such incredible colleagues who share IMD’s commitment to learning and impact,” he said. “The opportunity to engage with leading executives from around the world on a daily basis and to help them solve some of the most pressing problems confronting business and society, is an incredibly exciting opportunity.”

Bach completed his undergraduate studies at Yale and earned a PhD in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Academic publications
Article
The European Union as hardening agent: Soft law and the diffusion of global financial regulation
Soft law promulgated by transnational networks is one of the hallmarks of governance in global finance. Standard accounts alternatively view such governance as a fast and flexible solution to trans...
Published 14 March 2014
Article
Domestic drivers of transgovernmental regulatory cooperation
Transgovernmental cooperation among domestic regulators has generated considerable interest among scholars and policymakers. While previous research has focused on describing such regulatory networ...
Published 1 December 2014
Insight for Executives
Article
Four scenarios for a world in disorder
Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s recent speech to the Communist Party Congress could be one of the most consequential of the decade. He told the audience – and the world – that his economic growth-crush...
Published 25 October 2022
It’s time for a ‘moonshot mentality’ on climate change
Article
It’s time for a ‘moonshot mentality’ on climate change
Positive, broad-based leadership will be decisive in determining whether we move towards our best or worst future, says former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change Mary Robinson.
Published 23 September 2022
“Conducting the virtual orchestra” -The future of management education
Article
“Conducting the virtual orchestra” -The future of management education
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of technology in management education. IMD Honorary President Peter Lorange discusses the impact of hybrid learning on leadership training and shares his t...
Published 16 September 2022
Zoe Chance
Article
Zoe Chance
Yale Professor Zoe Chance discusses her latest book with IMD Professor of Strategy and Political Economy David Bach.
Published 30 June 2022
His royal shyness and how to cultivate charisma
Article
His royal shyness and how to cultivate charisma
Zoe Chance discusses how Prince learnt to become a great communicator, the power of saying no, and honing the superpower that makes good things happen.
Published 16 June 2022
Article
Tripod missions: Five principles for solving society's most pressing challenges
The COVID crisis has forced policymakers to design new and comprehensive rescue programmes under huge time pressure. This task has required innovative policy thinking and the pursuit of new kinds o...
Published 1 May 2022
Article
Businesses need both carrot and stick to accelerate progress on gender equity 
Companies must be obliged to take action, experts observe at an IMD/SIX Group webinar, as progress is not fast enough in Switzerland.
Published 25 March 2022
Article
It’s time to reinvent capitalism, says World Business Council for Sustainable Development CEO
Peter Bakker says business leaders must shift mindsets to build long-term resilience in the pandemic aftermath and take a regenerative approach to business models.
Published 8 February 2022
Article
Peter Bakker
Peter Bakker, head of WBCSD, talks sustainable businesses, promoting net-zero and building an equitable future.
Published 3 February 2022
Article
In the lonely century, office time gives staff the ‘social glue’ to perform better
An alarming rise in loneliness is damaging our health, our communities and the bottom line. Having convinced themselves of the benefits of remote working, companies must not lose sight of the impor...
Published 15 October 2021
Article
Leadership localization – where effective supply chain management meets smart politics
With global threats from COVID to trade tensions exposing companies to costly disruptions, leaders should be thinking about supply chain resilience and regionalization
Published 27 September 2021
Article
Zoos play a vital role, don’t let them become extinct
Zurich Zoo director Severin Dressen explains how his organization is being proactive in tackling the loss of biodiversity and helping to shape a sustainable coexistence between humans and nature, z...
Published 16 September 2021
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Article
Organizations can improve performance and engagement by embracing a purpose that resonates with employees, according to Alyson Meister and David Bach.
Published 29 June 2021
Purpose: is the hype justified?
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Purpose: is the hype justified?
What is purpose and why does it matter? There’s a lot of noise out there about the purpose behind a business. Is “purpose” just a buzzword, or is it something more, something that you should be...
Published 19 May 2021
Article
Why European CEOs should prepare for the political spotlight
The rise of CEOs taking a stance on controversial political issues is not just a US phenomenon. European business leaders must learn to address the politics that matter to their stakeholders
Published 20 April 2021
Article
The politics of business: A playbook emerges
In our hyper-polarized environment, business has become highly politicized, creating a new realm of competition that demands speed, values and alignment.
Published 1 January 2021
Article
Frame or get framed: The critical role of issue framing in nonmarket management
How a social or political issue is framed shapes the "nonmarket" context that surrounds it. Issue frames are not random; rather they are the product of strategic behavior by firms, government agenc...
Published 1 January 2016
Article
What every CEO needs to know about nonmarket strategy
Nonmarket strategy recognizes that businesses are social and political beings, not just economic agents. Because companies create and distribute value, a plethora of actors seek to influence them -...
Published 1 January 2010