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Michael Jarrett

Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour


Michael Jarrett is a Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD. His work is guided by three core questions: What are the structural dynamics that facilitate companies ability to change? How do emotions and psychological defense mechanisms support and hinder strategic reorientation? What can leaders do to make change stick? In seeking to answer these questions and improve companies' odds in delivery value through organisational change, he teaches, consults and researches in the fields of leadership fault lines, managing change and strategy execution.

Prior to joining INSEAD, Michael followed the dual tracks of academia and change management consulting. He was a full time faculty member at Cranfield School of Management, an Adjunct Professor at London Business School, where he led a variety of open programmes on change and leadership and visiting faculty at a number of other universities. In addition, Michael has held a number of senior roles in consulting firms including being a Director with the Alexander Corporation, the Managing Director of the UK office of Personal Decisions International, a human capital consulting firm, and a partner at Ilyas Jarrett & Co.

Currently, Michael teaches extensively on executive programmes and consults to a variety of clients delivering seminars, key note speeches and top team workshops in helping them to address the dilemmas of strategy execution. He is a Programme Director of INSEAD's Strategy Execution Programme, which guides executives through an intense process to develop and refine a strategic implementation plan. Each executive is provided support and faculty coaching over a few months. Michael extends his practice with clients from financial services organisations, professional service firms, pharmaceutical companies and not for profit agencies including Barclays, PwC, Novartis, UNDP and WEF.

His research interests follow a similar theme revolving on the area of 'behavioural strategy', which examines how cognition, and particularly emotions and social behaviour affect strategy in practice and the difficulties of execution. He has written several pieces and working papers on the dark side of leadership, emotional contagion, systems psychodynamics and impact on organisational outcomes.

Michael holds a PhD from Cranfield School of Management, has been a group relations staff member with the Tavistock Group Relations Leicester Conference and is a member of the Board of the Journal of Change Management. He features in practitioner outlets such as Business Strategy Review, the Strategy Magazine, Harvard Business School's Management Tips on 'Getting your Strategy Right' and INSEAD Knowledge. He is the author of several articles and books including his latest book Changeability: Why are some organisations ready for change and others aren’t and was the 2011 award winner of the ECCH Case in Human Resources and Organisational Behaviour.

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Leadership & Organisations

The Politics of Influence in Top Management Team Meetings

M. Jarrett, F. Liu, S. Maitlis

Interactions between the chief executive and other members of the top management team appear to follow distinct scripts. Managers who take note can boost their standing or stay out of harm’s way.

Leadership & Organisations

The Darker Side of Organisational Life

Cultural change is not for the faint-hearted or the politically correct.


Healing the Social Wounds of Injustice

Sigmund Freud’s concept of the pleasure principle offers clarity on how to repair fragmented societies in the aftermath of destructive populism.

Leadership & Organisations

Six Reasons CEOs Fail

Transformational leaders are the exception, not the rule.
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Leadership & Organisations

Tools for Leaders to Leverage Organisational Politics

Navigating four typical domains of organisational politics can help leaders overcome barriers to strategy execution.
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Leadership & Organisations

Organisational Politics Can Be an Asset to Strategy Execution

Identifying the types of political behaviour in your organisation is the first step to using it for positive change.