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Dangerous Company: The Consulting Powerhouses and the Businesses They Save and Ruin

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Behind nearly every corporate merger and every downsizing or "re-engineering" effort of the last decade lurked a highly paid management consultant. Consultants promise results, but what kind of practices do they employ to achieve them?Written by two award-winning journalists, Dangerous Company tells the harrowing tale of a Fortune 500 company that spent $75 million on cons Behind nearly every corporate merger and every downsizing or "re-engineering" effort of the last decade lurked a highly paid management consultant. Consultants promise results, but what kind of practices do they employ to achieve them?Written by two award-winning journalists, Dangerous Company tells the harrowing tale of a Fortune 500 company that spent $75 million on consulting contracts, only to see sales plummet from $1.3 billion to $319 million; explains how AT&T could spend half a billion dollars in consulting fees without any sign of progress; and exposes a consultant who provided government officials with information that helped send a former client to jail. You'll learn how Sears got turned around thanks to CEO Arthur Martinez's sophisticated and limited use of consultants, and how small, highly focused consulting firms are providing cost-effective, targeted advice and mounting a challenge to their larger competitors. Both a serious practical guide for any corporate citizen and a cautionary tale as exciting as a corporate thriller, Dangerous Company is certain to make the reader ask the critical question: What is the true price of advice, and who pays?


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Behind nearly every corporate merger and every downsizing or "re-engineering" effort of the last decade lurked a highly paid management consultant. Consultants promise results, but what kind of practices do they employ to achieve them?Written by two award-winning journalists, Dangerous Company tells the harrowing tale of a Fortune 500 company that spent $75 million on cons Behind nearly every corporate merger and every downsizing or "re-engineering" effort of the last decade lurked a highly paid management consultant. Consultants promise results, but what kind of practices do they employ to achieve them?Written by two award-winning journalists, Dangerous Company tells the harrowing tale of a Fortune 500 company that spent $75 million on consulting contracts, only to see sales plummet from $1.3 billion to $319 million; explains how AT&T could spend half a billion dollars in consulting fees without any sign of progress; and exposes a consultant who provided government officials with information that helped send a former client to jail. You'll learn how Sears got turned around thanks to CEO Arthur Martinez's sophisticated and limited use of consultants, and how small, highly focused consulting firms are providing cost-effective, targeted advice and mounting a challenge to their larger competitors. Both a serious practical guide for any corporate citizen and a cautionary tale as exciting as a corporate thriller, Dangerous Company is certain to make the reader ask the critical question: What is the true price of advice, and who pays?

30 review for Dangerous Company: The Consulting Powerhouses and the Businesses They Save and Ruin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mehdi

    A somewhat dated (it was published in the mid-1990s) but nonetheless interesting portrait of the industry. My only complaint is that the authors sometimes favor a somewhat sensationalistic style over a more pedestrian and accurate reality.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim Burkhardt

    I read this when I was working as a market research consultant. It's important to understand the drawbacks that exist within one's profession so one can work to avoid and/or overcome those drawbacks.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ramya

    It is a book that gives you a background of how consulting evolved in the last century and an overview of the big players in the consulting industry. I liked the chapters on BCG and Bain the most.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David

    I learned about the origins of the industry. The book also provided advice that is applicable to more then dealing with consultants, such as don't trust any otherside help implicitly, without doing homework. However, the book jumps from topic to topic without any continuuty, plus the book is outdated. For exaple, the author fawns over Arthur Martinez turnaround of Sears(which of course proved to be a non-starter ), and even Al Dunlap(pre Sunbeam). Additionaly, the book jumpss from topic to topic.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sergei_kalinin

    У книги два главных минуса: 1) она отражает ситуацию в консалтинге в начале-середине 1990-х (т.е. значительно устарела); 2) она написана журналистами в стиле "скандалы, интриги, расследования" :) . Авторы пытаются быть объективными, но чувствуется, что "жареное" в консалтинге их привлекает в первую очередь :( .

  6. 5 out of 5

    Drew

    Interesting look at how the management consulting industry grew with good case studies. Clearly biased against consultants with much of the blame directed towards them for falters

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Book was published in the late 90's, so some info is outdated and slightly irrelevant. Overall, Management consultants can be helpful and beneficial to a business, so long as the company management keeps them in check. But, it reinforced my opinion that M.C's look for the money and aren't always helping the success of the business. But, oftentimes, there is no real metric to gauge the success anyway.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rahul Jangid

    Insiders' accounts of some of the major failures of the world's biggest consultancy firms.They fail rarely but when they do they face egregious consequences. It also sheds light on how these consultancy firms are so good at what they do.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pratik

    Good insight about some of the biggest consulting firms

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kess

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simon Gal

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ds_Sourav

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  14. 5 out of 5

    Biswadeep Majumdar

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Obrecht

  16. 4 out of 5

    João Sevilhano

  17. 4 out of 5

    Navneet Bhushan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mohammad Fahmid Chowdhury

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Winkler

  20. 5 out of 5

    Adoptry

  21. 5 out of 5

    verity richardson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Brian Needham

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mark Law

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dattu

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hugo

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

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