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The World's Newest Profession

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The World's Newest Profession

Management Consulting in the Twentieth Century

Cambridge UP,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Today's CEOs don't make a move without first huddling with a management consultant – with good reason.

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No responsible business leader today would make a move before having a management consultant vet his or her plans. Doing it differently would be unwise. Not only would such a failure undermine corporate strategizing, but it could also result in a ruinous stockholders' due-diligence liability suit. Nonprofit directors are equally dependent on management consultants. They're increasingly ubiquitous and involved with everything. American to the core, with their "can-do" attitudes and confident outlooks, management consulting firms have thoroughly remade both businesses and elements of society in their own sleek, corporate image. getAbstract highly recommends business historian Christopher D. McKenna’s comprehensively researched and annotated historical report. Read it to learn about a remarkable business phenomenon that has dramatically reshaped the world. You can’t get sounder advice – not even from a management consultant.


Shouldn't You Check with a Consultant before You Try That?

Since the early twentieth century, management consulting firms have been having a profound effect on businesses and organizations of all types throughout the United States. They have been the main apostles of diversification, decentralization and promoting corporate culture. Today, management consultants have become so influential that few large corporations and organizations would attempt to restructure their operations or make any other major changes without first securing their counsel and assistance. This is true not only for companies throughout the U.S. but also for those in Europe and around the world.

Being "McKinseyed"

During the 1960s and 1970s, management consulting firms helped U.S. businesses transfer their operating standards and corporate culture to Europe. Their influence was so great that McKinsey & Company, the top management consulting firm in the U.S., saw its name become a verb, like Xerox. The London Sunday Times provided readers with this definition: "McKinsey: n. & v.t. To shake up, reorganize...mainly applied to large industrial companies but also to any organization...

About the Author

Christopher D. McKenna lectures on strategy at the University of Oxford. He is an expert on professional firms and their role in the international transformation of business.

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