The Firm

The Firm

The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business

Book - 2013 | 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
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A revelatory history of the controversial consulting firm traces its decades-long influence in both business and political arenas, citing its role in the establishment of mainstream practices and modern understandings about capitalism.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Edition: 1st Simon & Schuster hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781439190975
Branch Call Number: 338.761001 MCDON
Characteristics: 387 p. ; 24 cm.

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StarGladiator
May 24, 2015

This was a good history of McKinsey, but had some disagreements with the author on a number of financial angles: he points out some really bad deals they made, but doesn't blame them enough on others. Also, he doesn't shed any light on the fact that McKinsey has made the bulk of their money over the past 20 or so years in helping companies to offshore jobs. Period! Major oversight, that. [He does mention the disastrous purchase of Compaq by HP - - during Carly Fiorinia's reign - - and Nelson Rockefeller being in charge of the reorganization of the Department of Defense in 1953, and that it was Chase which bought out JP Morgan, an important point.] But IMHO, McKinsey has a history of pretty much pulling stuff out of its butt, much the same way a former employee of theirs, Tom Peters [Search for Excellence] also does. No doubt a McKinsey trait . . .Wonder if they were the ones who advised the government to invest in ISIS?

ravishri May 17, 2014

This book is worth a read. That said, there are some clear pros & (minor) con worth considering:

PROS:
* Walks you through the entire history in sufficient detail
* Provides good explanation behind why the firm changed the way it did at times
* Highlights its strength & weaknesses in an objective fashion

CONS:
* This is a minor point but I feel that the author uses speculation to hint at his understanding of things that we don't really know for sure such as assumptions that "CEOs who hire consultants routinely are not confident in their ability to lead and need someone to vet their decisions" - I could not find any good reason in the book to believe that to be true

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