Overview

It ranks among the unquestioned laws of American big business over the last half century: If you want to be taken seriously, you hire McKinsey & Company.

FOUNDED IN 1926, McKINSEY CAN LAY CLAIM to the following partial list of accomplishments: its consultants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological change to the nation's best organizations; they remapped the power structure within the White House; they even revo-lutionized business schools. In this book, star financial journalist Duff McDonald shows just how, in becoming an indispensable part of decision making at the highest levels, McKinsey has done nothing less than set the course of American capitalism.

But he also answers the question that's on the mind of anyone who has ever heard the word McKinsey: Are they worth it? After all, just as McKinsey can be shown to have helped invent most of the tools of modern management, the company was also involved with a number of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene when General Motors drove itself into the ground, and they were Kmart's advisers when the retailer tumbled into disarray. They played a critical role in building the bomb known as Enron.

McDonald is one of the few journalists to have not only parsed the record but also penetrated the culture of McKinsey itself--a corporate mandarin elite whose methods have been compared (by oth-ers and by themselves) to those of the Jesuits or the U.S. Marines. They feel so strongly about themselves that they have insisted on a proper noun where one need not exist. To an outsider, they are a consulting firm. To themselves, simply, The Firm. This revealing book uncovers the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.

Editorial Reviews
  • "A fascinating account of the rise of McKinsey. If you want to know what it is about the culture of the firm that sets it apart and has made it so successful, read this book."--Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Lords of Finance
  • In this highly readable history, Duff McDonald brings us deep inside one of the smartest and most important firms doing business today a place where no other journalist has taken us before. With his straightforward storytelling and thoughtful analysis, McDonald demystifies the secrets behind McKinsey s successes and offers concrete lessons on changing companies and practices for the better. --Jamie Dimon
  • "In his superb examination of one of the most powerful, secretive, and least understood organizations on the planet, Duff McDonald finally solves the mystery, in elegant prose, of how McKinsey can be well known without anyone knowing anything about it. Thanks to McDonald, now we do."--William D. Cohan, bestselling author of The Last Tycoons, House of Cards, and Money and Power
  • "McDonald has written the definitive history of McKinsey, and through McKinsey of the entire multibillion-dollar industry that is management consulting. It's a heartbreaking tale of wasted talent."--Felix Salmon, finance blogger, Reuters
  • Timely. A fast-paced account of a key business institution, its deeds and misdeeds. --Kirkus Reviews
  • Revealing McDonald combines a lucid chronicle of McKinsey s growth and boardroom melodramas. --Publishers Weekly

 

Product Details

Author:  Duff McDonald
ISBN:  1439190976   
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Publish Date:  September 10, 2013
Pages:  387 pages
Dimensions:  0.95" H x 9.06" L x 6.09" W (1.08 lbs) 

 

The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business


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