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The Firm

The Inside Story of McKinsey

Duff McDonald

Publisher: Oneworld, 2013 , 387 pages

ISBN: 978-1-78074-592-3

Keywords: Consulting, Biography


Toggle Synopsis

Discover the secret influence of 'The Firm'

They helped invent the bar code. They revolutionized business schools and created corporate practices that now rule our world. McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted, loved and despised. They are doing behind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world, and their ranks of alumni include the chairman of HSBC and William Hague. Renowned financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts but also become mired in controversy across the years.

Discover how the firm celebrated Enron's disastrous corporate structure and how they've been instrumental in the government's controversial NHS reforms. Are they worth their astronomical fees? And what do firms and governments actually get for their money?

Based on exclusive interviews with key McKinsey players and written in gripping prose, this is a revealing window onto one of the most secretive and powerful companies in the world.

Table of Contents:

Toggle Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The McKinsey Mystique
  1. The Ozark Farm Boy
  2. The Making of the Firm
  3. The Age of Influence
  4. The Decade of Doubt
  5. A Return to Form
  6. The Crucial Question: Are They Worth It or Not?
  7. Revenge of the Nerds
  8. The Money Grab
  9. Bad Advice
  10. Retrenchment
  11. Breaking the Compact
  • Epilogue: The Future of McKinsey


The Firm

by Roland Buresund last modified 2017-01-16 10:45

Rating: ****** (Decent)

The first half of this book is an interesting history of McKinsey and the management consulting business as a whole, from its humble beginnings, and as such pretty good.

The second half feels more like name-dropping and opinions on how McKinsey developed through various stages, and even that is not really set inside any wider perspective or analysed in any depth.

A decent book, but it could have been a lot shorter. Interesting if you want to know how McKinsey and the managing consulting business started, but don't expect any insights on how they work today.

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