Dangerous Company: The Secret Story of the Consulting Powerhouses and the Corporations They Save and Ruin

Overview

Dangerous Company chronicles the successes, failures, and practices of the biggest and most influential firms in the consulting industry. O'Shea and Madigan chronicle such stories as the one involving the consultant who provided state's evidence and landed his client behind bars, the Fortune 500 company that was billed over $75 million in consulting fees yet was left on the brink of bankruptcy, and the role played by consultants in the rejuvenation of Sears.
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1997-08-05 Hardcover New in Like New jacket Mint condition hardcover in also mint condition decorative dustjacket. MendoPower Employment Services will immediately and carefully ... pack this book in high-quality bubble lined, envelopes. Then we send you a confirmation e-mail. We appreciate your business and welcome any questions. Read more Show Less

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1997 Hardcover First Edition; First Printing New in New dust jacket 081292634x. 8vo 8"-9" tall; 355 pages.

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Overview

Dangerous Company chronicles the successes, failures, and practices of the biggest and most influential firms in the consulting industry. O'Shea and Madigan chronicle such stories as the one involving the consultant who provided state's evidence and landed his client behind bars, the Fortune 500 company that was billed over $75 million in consulting fees yet was left on the brink of bankruptcy, and the role played by consultants in the rejuvenation of Sears.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Management consulting is a $50 billion business worldwide, with $25 billion in revenues generated in the U.S., according to the authors, who argue here that as business becomes more globalized, the influence of consultants is expanding. O'Shea and Madigan, journalists with the Chicago Tribune, do a highly creditable job of describing the negative as well as the positive roles consultants have played. Management consulting began shortly after WWI in Chicago, when James McKinsey, an academic, turned his passion for accounting into a philosophy of management strategy and established McKinsey & Co. His firm rose to prominence with its work for the troubled giant Marshall Field in the early 1930s that was capped when McKinsey was named chairman of the retailer in 1935. After a two-year term, he died at 47. The company that bears his name is widely considered the most influential consulting firm in the world today, primarily because a number of McKinsey consultants have moved on to run major corporations, such as Louis Gerstner, chairman of IBM. O'Shea and Madigan take an in-depth look at several major consulting companies and examine their strengths and weaknesses. A number of case studies are also included, the most entertaining being the story of Bain & Co.'s Olivier Roux's role in a scandal involving the British company Guinness and its attempt to acquire Distiller's in 1986. This fast-paced book provides practical advice on the best way for companies to use consultants. Aug.
Library Journal
O'Shea, the deputy managing editor for foreign and national news at the Chicago Tribune, and Madigan, senior business writer at the Tribune, have written a fascinating account of the use of management consultants in corporations. They examine the politics surrounding consultants, who ultimately benefits, and the downfall of many companies following the implementation of various consultant theories. In essence, they describe "what separates the consulting success from the consulting disaster." The authors include an analysis of McKinsey & Co. and Gemini Consulting. Although certainly entertaining and well written, this book is unique in its realistic and objective treatment, and its annotated bibliographic notes are most useful. Highly recommended for all business collections.Kathy Shimpock, Muchmore & Wallwork Lib., Phoenix
Kirkus Reviews
A look into the insular and highly confidential world of consulting firms like Bain & Co., Andersen Consulting, McKinsey & Co., and Deloitte & Touche.

O'Shea (The Daisy Chain, 1991) and Madigan, both of the Chicago Tribune, offer an insider's guide to the companies that hired big-gun consultants and now bitterly regret it. Consulting firms generally send in swarms of youthful MBAs who speak in an arcane language and often argue for sweeping changes at the companies they study. The authors survey several once-thriving companies that hired consultants, spent millions on changes, then found themselves bankrupt as a result. At Figgie International, for example, efforts by the consultants to make the Cincinnati-based conglomerate "world-class" proved laughable: The company moved key plants, chock-full of new equipment, down South and soon was hemorrhaging money. When a Figgie rep investigated, he discovered that the new foreman and most of the plant workers were illiterate. The partnership of Monitor Company and Sears was also ill-fated; Monitor had little understanding of the typical Sears shopper and advised the retailer to end its famed deep-discount sales in favor of a lower everyday price. When sales plummeted, the board brought in Arthur Martinez, who killed the catalog and hired the Andrew Thomas Kearney firm to consult. This partnership was a hit, which the authors attribute to both Kearney's hard-working approach and the willingness of Martinez to leave the boardroom. The authors also write something of a love letter to Boston Consulting Group, which transformed a health-care plan into a scarily efficient corporation.

Practical and intriguing, if occasionally stolid and lacking in investigative finesse. While optimistic about many consultants, however, the authors warn companies to be wary of too much good advice.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812926347
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/5/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 355
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.56 (h) x 1.23 (d)

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