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The Firm

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The Firm

The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business


A behind-the-scenes,revelatory history of McKinsey & Company, America’s most influential andcontroversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation’s leadingfinancial journalists

Founded in 1926, McKinsey & Company has become one ofthe world’s leading management consulting firms, helping to invent American businessand shaping its course for decades. Ushering in the age of American industrialdominance, McKinsey remapped the power structure in the White House, helpedcreate the bar code, revolutionized business schools, and introduced the ideaof budgeting as a management tool. McKinsey consultants have created thecorporate behaviors that shaped our world—reinventing our idea of Americancapitalism and exporting it across the globe.

At the same time, however, McKinsey can also be associatedwith a list of striking failures. Its consultants were on the scene whenGeneral Motors drove itself into the ground, and they played a critical role inbuilding the bomb known as Enron. Yet they are rarely blamed for thefailures—at least not publicly.

McKinsey employees are trusted and distrusted,loved and despised. And far from prying eyes, they are doingbehind-the-scenes work for the most powerful people in the world. In TheFirm, star financial journalist Duff McDonald uncovers how thesehigh-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural,financial, and technological shifts to the biggest and best Americanorganizations. With unrivaled access to company documents and current andformer employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be themost influential private organization in America.

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