Omar Toulan

Professor of Strategy and International Management and Dean of the MBA program

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Omar Toulan is Professor of Strategy and International Management and Dean of the MBA program. His areas of expertise include strategic management, international business, growth strategies, and managing the multinational. His research – which includes offshoring and outsourcing, global account management, emerging market multinationals, and the impact of the digital disruption on the retail sector – has appeared in a variety of academic and practitioner oriented journals, including Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of International Business Studies, California Management Review, Industrial and Corporate Change, Emerging Markets Review, and the Journal of Latin American Studies.

Before joining IMD, he spent two decades at McGill University in Canada where he was a tenured professor and served as Associate Dean of Academic and Master’s Programs of the business school, overseeing all faculty and leading the introduction and redesign of a number of programs. He also spent time as a visiting professor at London Business School, INSEAD, Imperial College, Stockholm School of Economics, and Universidad Torcuato di Tella. Toulan has been awarded various research and teaching grants, including a Teaching Chair from the Quebec Government, and has given executive seminars extensively – not only in Europe and North America, but also in Latin America and Japan.

Prior to entering academia, he worked as a management consultant for McKinsey and Company in its New York office and its Global Institute in Washington, DC. He also worked as a researcher at the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Toulan received his undergraduate degree in international economics from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and went on to complete his PhD in strategy at the Sloan School of Management at MIT.

Academic publications
Article
Typology and success factors of collaboration for sustainable growth in the IT service industry
Recently, innovative changes in information technology (IT) trends, such as cloud computing and deep learning, have led IT companies to focus on collaboration for sustainable growth. This paper inv...
Published 3 November 2017
Article
An exploration of the role of organizational architecture in capability development
This paper explores the role of organizational architecture mechanisms in capability evolution. The existing literature describes the role of organizational traits in capability creation, but a det...
Published 1 January 2015
Insight for Executives
Article
Retail growth strategies : Surviving COVID-19
The economic turbulence spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the retail sector. On and off lockdowns, as well as store customer restrictions, have pushed many brick a...
Published 27 February 2021
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Article
Firms today face unprecedented turbulence, but companies like Swisscom have been successfully dealing with disruptions for decades.  In an OWP liVe “Courageous Conversation”, Professor of Strategy ...
Published 20 July 2020
The future of business and COVID-19
Video
The future of business and COVID-19
This video vignette features IMD Professor of Strategy and International Management Omar Toulan and Scott McDonald, President and CEO of Oliver Wyman, in conversation.
Published 15 May 2020
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Article
COVID-19 has burst onto the scene at the end of a decade in which global integration has been constantly challenged
Published 1 May 2020
Article
Hybrid strategies and the new face of retail
Today most attention has tended to focus on the rise of the Purely Internet-Based model with its digital experience and online sales at the expense of the Traditional Brick-and-Mortar model. Howeve...
Published 22 January 2020
Article
Även lyxbutiker och lågpris måste se upp när e-handeln växer
Luxury and low price stores have done well in the face of digitization. But they have to watch out as customers become more accustomed to online shopping. It is about delivering in all channels, wr...
Published 17 May 2019
Article
Soft, hard, or no Brexit: The damage is done
Regardless of the final Brexit outcome, the damage to the UK has been done. In this paper, we look at five specific areas where this effect is evident: economic performance, investment confidence, ...
Published 24 April 2019
Article
German firms: open borders, closed boardrooms : How many foreigners are in Germany’s top executive positions?
With the impending exit of Great Britain from the European Union in 2019, German firms will likely assume an even greater position within the trading block. Given its reputation as the largest expo...
Published 17 September 2018
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Article
Traditional retail is in the center of a storm – and British department store chain House of Fraser is the latest to succumb to the tempest. The company plans to close 31 of its 59 shops – includin...
Published 22 June 2018
Article
How high streets and shopping malls face a domino effect from major store closures
Traditional retail is in the center of a storm – and British department store chain House of Fraser is the latest to succumb to the tempest. The company plans to close 31 of its 59 shops – includin...
Published 8 June 2018
Article
How global are Germany's largest corporations?
Whereas facts suggest that German companies are among the best equipped and most active to pursue global growth, they offer limited insight to determine the real extent to which these companies are...
Published 1 May 2018
Article
The irony of Brexit lies in the data
Can it be certain that bilateral agreements negotiated post-Brexit will assist British firms in becoming even more global than they currently are? It seems ironic to note that Brexit will force the...
Published 20 March 2018
Article
The role of interorganizational fit in global account management
In this paper, we apply the concept of interorganizational fit to the use of global account management programs in multinational corporations. It is predicted that greater fit between vendor and cu...
Published 1 February 2007