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Michael Jarrett

Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour


Michael Jarrett is a Professor of Management Practice of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. He is an expert in top management teams and strategic organizational change. He co-directs the Strategic Execution Programme, and is the Academic Director of INSEAD’s specialised Executive Masters in Change, a programme for those who seek to change organizations and their institutions. He is also a board member of the Organization Development and Change Interest Group of the Academy of Management.

Michael’s applied research, award-wining teaching and extensive consulting experience focus upon the psychological, and structural dynamics that derail the strategic process of change. Thus, he takes a systems psychodynamics perspective and is particularly interested in disentangling the hidden dynamics of top management leaders, intergroup conflicts, and cultural routines that might support rather than undermine organisational change. He uses a number of innovative approaches to make these tacit and unconscious practices explicit. His current research projects include: the role of humour in negotiating status conflicts in top management teams; an exploration of intuition and decision making processes within top leadership teams during crisis, for example during Covid; and an examination of the processes that shape the outcomes of post-merger integration.

Michael's research has appeared in peer reviewed articles such as in Leadership Quarterly, Organization Research Methods, Decision, Long Range Planning, and the Journal of Change Management. He’s also featured in Harvard Business Review, the Financial Times, INSEAD Knowledge and internationally in The Singapore Times, Channel News Asia, The China Times, Economic Times India, and Les Echo.

These research insights gain relevance in their application to management practice. Thus, both in teaching and working with clients Michael draws on group experiential learning and discovery methods. Similarly, he has applied video ethnographic methods to help recover unseen and hidden practices. He has also earned the Dean’s outstanding teaching awards in teaching executives and client based programmes.

Michael completed his PhD at Cranfield School of Management, his MSc. in Economics at the University of London, and is a trained gestalt and psychodynamic group consultant. He has been as a staff member and group consultant with the Tavistock Institute and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Clinic. He held Visiting academic roles Wharton School of Management, and continues as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bath, School of Management.

Latest posts

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Leadership & Organisations

Winning the Game of Boardroom Chess

M. Jarrett, A. J. Yap, C. LeBaron

How subtle, seemingly innocuous actions can shift the balance of power in your favour.
1 comment

Leadership & Organisations

Stop Going It Alone

Michael Jarrett

Negotiating radical organisational change needs to be a collective effort.
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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

Michael Jarrett

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.
1 comment