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The World's Newest Profession: Management Consulting in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 19. Juni 2006

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 392 Seiten
  • Verlag: Cambridge University Press (19. Juni 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0521810396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521810395
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,8 x 22,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 632.713 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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'If you use consultants, or claim to be a consultant, you should read this book.' Charles Wilson, CEO, Booker Ltd.

'This book should be required reading for everyone who teaches at a business school, as well as for all MBA students. I recommend it to anyone interested in the upheavals around corporate governance and professional ethics that marked the turn of the 21st century.' JoAnne Yates, MIT Sloan School of Management

'McKenna has unearthed the distinctly American origins of modern consulting in the evolution of financial market regulation - surprisingly and convincingly.' John Clarkeson, co-Chairman of the Board, The Boston Consulting Group

'Witch doctors or miracle workers? Whatever your view of management consultants, it pays to understand how the world's leading consulting firms have become so influential. McKenna's superb history reveals how one crucial piece of US legislation - the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act - and one vibrant American city - Chicago - spawned an industry that has transformed the face of global business and national government in the 20th century.' Martin Giles, The Economist Group, North America

'Fascinating, frightening, and perfectly timed - McKenna's sweeping survey shines a brilliant light on a profession that has always preferred to keep outsiders in the dark.' Martin Kihn, author of House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time

'McKenna opens the private world of management consulting to his keen analytical eye, providing a rich, absorbing accounting of the rise and expansion of this profession, and a sharp critique of consulting's role in shaping the strategies of the world's largest corporations. This is a fascinating, revealing book about a profession that has received little serious, sustained scholarly attention.' Walter W. Powell, Stanford University

'This history of management consulting analyses an important stream of the history of modern business itself. Today's managers can put its insights to practical use when engaging - or deciding not to engage - consultants.' Tony Tyler, Chief Operating Office, Cathay Pacific Airways

'McKenna's book does a superb job of exploring the role that this industry played in transforming (not always for the better) a variety of different types of organizations - from businesses to religious and charitable associations to government agencies - and through them much of the fabric of modern life.' Naomi Lamoreaux, University of California, Los Angeles

'History is not bunk. With Glass-Steagall repealed and the aftershocks of the Enron scandal by no means over, the timing of The World's Newest Profession could hardly be more fortuitous. McKenna's breadth of scholarship and clarity of argument will undoubtedly sit, like Banquo's ghost, at the consulting banquet for years to come.' Fiona Czerniawska, Consulting to Management

'McKenna offers a lively look at a profession that has often been shrouded in secrecy, and shows how it has become enormously lucrative - although not always as a result of the quality of advice being doled out. Interesting and provocative, McKenna's book offers a lens to understand the development of the modern corporation.' Jon Housman, Managing Director of The Wall Street Journal Europe

'Intriguing revelations are contained in Chris McKenna's important new book. His timing is perfect. … Although academic thoroughness is one of its chief merits, the book remains readable and entertaining throughout. … It is a sober and truthful antidote to all the glossy consultancy brochures that promise 'strategic solutions' and 'value-added' analysis.' Financial Times

'A highly readable account of the rise of the management-consultancy phenomenon. McKenna is admirably balanced: not starry-eyed about the serious men in suits, but neither is he sneeringly cynical. Explains a lot about how businesses are run today.' Financial Times Magazine

'… the author has … done [one] of the most important things that he sets out to do which is to bring to the attention of current and future management consultants a knowledge of the development of their profession.' The Business Economist

'The World's Newest Profession documents the rise of management consulting in the United States. … It is a novel study that deserves the attention of business historians, management professors, and organizational scholars.' Neil Fligstein, Business History Review

'[The World's Newest Profession] is a compelling, well-told story that goes a long way toward explaining the ubiquity, intentions, and limitations of modern management consultants. The book makes an important contribution to the literatures on professionalization, on twentieth-century business history in the United States, and on corporate culture.' Christopher Tassava, Enterprise and Society

Über das Produkt

This book, first published in 2006, offers a history of management consulting in the twentieth century. It details how the elite consulting firms expanded after US regulatory changes during the 1930s, how they changed giant corporations, nonprofits, and the state during the 1950s, and explains exactly what consultants really do and why they became so influential in the global economy after 1960.

In diesem Buch (Mehr dazu)
In 1930, Business Week introduced its readers to a new professional service: management consulting. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Von Thomas Kacmarek am 24. Juni 2012
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A very thorough account of the development of managment consulting. The author covers the topic from the beginning with the adoption of Taylorism in US industry to the collapse of Enron. Even though some passages appear somewhat lengthy, this book deserves the label 'required reading' for anybody seriously interested in management consulting.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 9 Rezensionen
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Welfare recipients? 7. Oktober 2006
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is an excellent book covering the history and development of management consulting. The foundation and prospering of the "profession", its dependence on somewhat arbitrary regulatory decisions and the continuing impact of government policy and court actions on its development is clearly explained. There is also much practical comment and speculation on the likely effects of recent legal changes on the industry's development.

McKenna's detailed research and extensive knowledge of the field is evident but he (mostly) successfully avoids strangling his narrative with excessive detail, encapsulating them in footnotes. Speaking of which, the footnotes can be a little overpowering - more than 100 pages worth. Maybe he should have highlighted the more entertaining ones to make them easier to find.

Overall, I found the insights interesting and thought provoking. Definitely worth reading if you have an interest in the history or future of the profession.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Exceptional look into the history of the consulting industry 10. Januar 2009
Von Erik Gfesser - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
A discussion of the consulting industry from its early origins in the late 1800s is what makes this book unique. The commentary that McKenna offers is superb. And some readers may be interested in the substantial end notes provided for this history, something rarely seen in books of this genre. While management consulting is the focus, a limited discussion of technology consulting is also provided. The subject of this book is the answer to the question of "just how had the leading management consulting firms come to achieve such a dominant economic and cultural position?" As McKenna explains, "the historical explanation for the dominance of management consulting, as it turns out, was not to be found in the pragmatic choices of university graduates, but in a set of regulatory changes in America during the 1930s, the 1950s, and the 1980s that were bolstered by the strategic development of new markets by the leading management consulting firms. American antitrust regulation shielded early consultants from competition from rival professionals even as entrepreneurial firms created new lucrative practices by concentrating on particular market segments[.]" In fact, "this regulatory history helps to explain why most of the leading management consulting firms in the world are American in contrast to the other business professions, like law or accounting, where state regulation did not favor one geographic market over another. Remarkably, the regulatory history returned to haunt management consulting firms at the end of the twentieth century because corporate board members had come to rely so heavily on professionals to reduce their corporate liability. Throughout the twentieth century, state regulation, as much as international innovation, first shaped and then reshaped the evolutionary path of management consulting". Very timely reading, especially in light of the recent (January 2009) revelation that PricewaterhouseCoopers was the auditor of Satyam Computer's doctored accounts. McKenna discusses the seemingly similar (and familiar) case associated with Arthur Andersen and Enron, but not until the ninth chapter, and this is not the focus of the book (there have been other texts solely focused on the Enron case if that is what interests the reader). This book provides remarkable insight into the consulting industry, and is recommended reading for all consultants, those who are considering consulting as a profession, and all business professionals seeking better understanding of the consulting industry.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Excellent Book 18. Januar 2007
Von Carol - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book to read the section on Lukens Steel (about whom I am writing a book) but it was so good that I read the whole thing, just for pleasure. For me, it was a clear explanation of a world that I had glimpsed, but never entered. Now I know why Harvard MBAs make so much money.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Will Management Consulting Ever Become a Bonafide Profession? 10. März 2009
Von Justin Belkin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Before reading this book one might understandably confuse Cresap, McCormick & Paget with a swanky new seafood restaurant - like McCormick and Schmick's - rather than one of the original "Big 3" consulting firms of the 20th century. Few books, if any, document the rise of the managing consulting industry in America over the past 125 years as well as author Chris McKenna does here. An extremely well-researched book - with 103 pages of notes - "The World's Newest Profession" won the coveted Hagley Prize in 2007 for best business history book. The perfect accoutrement to the "Vault Career Guide to Top Consulting Firms," McKenna's book is a must-read for any MBA aspiring to a consulting career.

One of the most fascinating achievements of the consulting industry is how it has maintained an aura of professionalism despite simultaneously eschewing the trappings that are traditionally found in most other professions (i.e. law, accounting, etc.). To understand this phenomenon we must first turn to its origins. The quasi profession of consulting began in the 1880's with men like Frederick Taylor who helped American industry reengineer their shop-floors to achieve greater efficiency. These "industrial engineers" applied "scientific management" principles primarily to problems of "worker psychology, workplace and tool design, wage systems, and cost accounting." Once such efficiencies were achieved, however, businesses sought new solutions to a changing regulatory environment, which Taylorism was ill-equipped to address.

If we view the evolution of management consulting on a timeline continuum then "Taylorism" was the "Australopethicus" of the consulting world - a loose and distant cousin of modern consulting. In contrast, the "management engineers" and "cost accountants" of the 1920s, such as James O. McKinsey, were much more akin to the consulting brands we are familiar with today. This shift coincided with a period of regulatory reform that would further solidify "consulting" as a business function separate from that which was taking place within professional service firms at the time. McKenna writes, "The rise of management consulting as a distinct professional field occurred as a direct result of Congressional passage of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act in 1933" (p. 17).

Armed with their "general surveys," the leading consulting firms were sought after by businesses for two primary reasons: to legitimize internal decision making processes, and to learn best business practices from competitors. This does not mean, however, that consultants were engaged for each and every pressing business concern. The decision to "make or buy" was ultimately determined by whether or not the nature of the problem was "brief, specialized, and nonrecurring." In these instances businesses found great value in hiring consulting firms, in some instances even paying up to 2% of company revenue on consulting expenditures.

Over time the consulting industry began to consolidate with a few firms developing specializations in terms of core areas of competence and clients served. For example, under the newly invigorated leadership of Marvin Bower in 1939, McKinsey developed a specialization in administrative reorganization. Meanwhile other firms established reputations in information technology, or corporate strategy. Some firms, most notably Booz Allen Hamilton, became the consultant of choice for government agencies while others focused on corporations or not-for-profits. McKenna observes, "Management consulting firms, from the 1970s onwards, would generally fall into two camps: those who provided advice on corporate strategy, like BCG, Bain, and McKinsey, and those who provided advice on information systems, like Anderson (subsequently Accenture) and later IBM (p. 77)."

Since its humble beginnings the number of consultants per a manager has increased over 4X to "one for every thirteen." With a current annual domestic market size of $100 billion the industry shows no signs of slowing down, McKenna concludes, "Whether in computer systems, strategic counsel, organizational design, or corporate acquisitions, management consulting firms have become, and continue to be, a crucial institutional solution to executives' ongoing need for outside information" (p. 78). The only question that remains is whether an industry that has existed for over 125 years will finally become the world's newest profession.
An amazing look at the origins and history of management consultants 16. März 2014
Von The Global Wanderer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
McKenna's book is truly unique. Most books about management consultants either deal with their strategic tools, influence on businesses, or trash the consultants based on some select scandals. The author has done something wonderful and different here. He explains the institutional and economic circumstances that helped birth this industry. We learn how the 1930s and regulation helped consultants get off the ground, what the various firms have made out of it, and where we stand today. If you are an executive, understanding the history of your consulting firms might be very valuable when dealing with them, as each firm carries some tacit historical knowledge in it. I also enjoyed some funny cartoons courtesy of McKinsey that the firm made available for this book. Overall, The World's Newest Profession has filled a void in the growing literature dealing with consultants.
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