Sameh Abadir

Adjunct Professor of Strategy at INSEAD Business School

Professor of Leadership and Negotiation at IMD Executive Education


  • INSEAD Business School
  • IMD Executive Education




INSEAD Business School

Sam Abadir teaches international negotiations and global awareness for INSEAD Executive Education since 2003, Sam is also directing a number of executive programmes – including Mastering International Negotiation, Mastering Business Excellence (Asia, Latin America and North America Safety and Leadership (since 2008) and Crisis Management (since 2014). During his time at INSEAD, he has worked with over 3000 executives, mostly at senior levels, helping them develop and transform themselves as well as their organisations.

Prior to joining INSEAD, Sam was in charge of international development for one of the world's largest multinational corporations, SODEXO (1988-2003) and worked for the Special Forces in Egypt (1986-88). In parallel with his teaching career, he runs his family business across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Sam incorporates his extensive management experience and military background in his teaching sessions to make them highly relevant and practical. His field experience notably shows that business negotiations cannot be stereotyped as "win-lose" or "win-win" but involves elements of both competition and cooperation. Unfortunately, the competitive dimension often dominates in the negotiation process: negotiators become argumentative, engage in positional bargaining, and lose sight of their own as well as the other side's underlying interests. The result is often a mediocre agreement at best, a deadlock at worst. His military background provides him with valuable insights on how to lead people with difficult behaviours, achieve results under stress, and build team agility for high performance results as well as a unique perspective on MENA geopolitics.

Sam is a visiting professor for the American University of Cairo (Egypt), ESSEC (Paris, France), Paris Institute of Political Studies (France) and McGill University (Canada). He was also a fellow at Judge Business School (University of Cambridge, UK) and the President of the Executive Coaching Consultants. He is the co-author of E-Negotiation: Social Networking and Cross Cultural Business Transactions as well as of several research papers on entrepreneurship.

Sam holds a MBA from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, France) and a Ph.D. in International Politics from Paris I University (France). Sam teaches in French, English and Arabic.


Negotiation Analysis, Conflict Management, Safety and Leadership, Crisis Management, Middle-East Military Conflicts and Social Trauma


Negotiations, Agility and Stress Management



Thurman, P. Abadir, S., Harkiolakis, N. Halkias, D. Leadership for Agile Transformation. Routledge/Taylor Francis, London, forthcoming in 2020.

Halkias, D., Abadir, S., Thurman, P. & Harkiolakis, N., & . Female Digital Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies : Women Bringing Innovation to the Global Marketplace. Routledge/Taylor Francis, London, forthcoming in 2019.

Harkiolakis, N., Halkias, D. Abadir, S. (2012). E-Negotiation: Social Networking and Cross-Cultural Business Transactions. Gower Publishers, London, 2012.


Abadir, S., Halkias, D., Prinia, D., Fragoudakis, M., & Akrivos, P. D. (2011). Egypt: Lessons from a Father's Culture and Life Values: A Female Entrepreneur Builds her own Family Firm in Egypt. Father-daughter Succession in Family Business: A Cross-cultural Perspective, 93.

Harkiolakis, N., Abadir, S., & Alserhan, B. A. (2016). United Arab Emirates: Female Immigrant Entrepreneurship at the Multicultural Crossroads of the Arab World. In Female Immigrant Entrepreneurs (pp. 115-124). Gower.


Halkias, D., Thurman, P., Abadir, S., Katsioloudes. M. and Harkiolakis, N. Daughters’ Intentions to Succeed their Fathers in the Family Business: Securing the Future of the Family Enterprise in the Developing Economies of Asia. Proceedings of Doriot 2008: Conference on Family Enterprise, Paris, France, May, 2008.

Halkias, D., Harkiolakis, N., Abadir, S., Thurman, P., Akrivos, D. and Caracatsanis, S. Characteristics and Business Profiles of Immigrant-Owned Small Firms: The Case of Albanian Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Greece. A research paper prepared for conference presentation at OBEC (Oxford Business and Economics Research Conference), Oxford, UK, June 2007.

Halkias, D., Harkiolakis, N. and Abadir, S. Complexity and Chaos Theory as Applied to Executive Coaching: A Cross-National Study Surveying Business Executives’ Perceptions in Greece, Lebanon and Egypt on Working with Coaches Using an “Edge of Chaos” Perspective. A research paper prepared for conference presentation at John Hopkins University, August, 2006.

Halkias, D., Jalajas, D., Bommer, M., Kontogeorgi, M., Harkiolakis, N. and Abadir, S. The Effect of Downsizing on the Behaviors and Motivations of Survivors: A Cross-Cultural Study. A research paper prepared for conference presentation at the International Congress for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Spetses, Greece, July 15, 2006.

Halkias, D., Stavrou-Costea, E., Swierszc, P., Abadir, S. and Akrivos, D. Daughters’ Intentions to Succeed Fathers in the Family Business: Securing the Future of the Family Enterprise in Greece. A research paper prepared for the Congress of the International Council of Psychologists, Kos, Greece, July 11, 2006.

IMD Executive Education

Sameh Abadir is a Professor of Leadership and Negotiation at IMD.

He is the co-director of IMD’s Negotiating for Value Creation program (NVC) and teaches in IMD’s signature program Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWP).

Professor Abadir’s major research, teaching and consulting field of expertise is organizational behavior, particularly in the areas of stress management, leadership strategy, negotiation skills and business agility. He is the co-author of the book e-Negotiations.

Prior to joining IMD, Professor Abadir was an Adjunct Professor at INSEAD where he taught international negotiations and crisis management as well as directed a variety of executive programs.

In addition to his academic experience, Sameh Abadir was an executive at SODEXO from 1988 to 2003, one of the world's largest multinational corporations. He also served in the Egyptian Special Forces between 1985 and 1988.

His corporate and military experience has given him a unique perspective in the classroom and has informed his leadership of behavioral change and ability to acquire results under stress. He also specializes in building team agility and MENA geopolitics.

Sameh Abadir holds a PhD in Economics from Paris I University (France) and an MBA from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, France). Sameh teaches in French, English and Arabic.


Courses Taught

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