History_of_Consulting - History of Consulting In the...

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Extract Value from Consultants: How to Hire, Control, and Fire Them History of Consulting In the process of publishing a book, editorial judgment is applied to the content and length of each section. In the case of Extracting Value from Consultants , the chapter on the history of consulting was subject to this editorial process. The resulting chapter is an abridged version of the original chapter, combined with two other chapters. The condensed version in the book allows the busy reader to rapidly reach the chapters that discuss the solution to effectively select, manage, and disengage consultants. For those who are interested in a more in-depth account of the evolution of the industry we have included the original, unabridged chapter here. T HE R APID E VOLUTION OF THE C ONSULTING I NDUSTRY Advisors have existed since the beginning of time--often providing advice based on subjective opinions absent of any structure, facts, expertise or relevant experience. Unfortunately there continue to be many people who are quite capable of expressing an opinion on something for which they know nothing about. Charisma and self confidence, after all, can go a long way! A Century of Professional Consulting More legitimately, academics, government leaders, and senior business executives have also been consulted for generations drawing upon the expertise and personal experience that they have amassed throughout their long careers. However, it was not until the late 1800s when the rational, logically structured problem solving approaches began to be formally applied to management challenges. Arthur D. Little, a chemical engineer who studied at MIT, founded his business in 1886. It is generally acknowledged that this was the first management consulting firm even though their focus was not on the management process but on contracted engineering research 1 . Frederick W. Taylor established his consulting practice in 1893 with an emphasis on time and motion „scientific management‟ . While Taylorism influenced management thinking and industrial efficiency in the early 20 th century, none of the consulting firms based on Taylorism principles ever emerged to become major consulting practices in the United States. Taylorism had greater 1 This section draws upon the authors ‟ experience in the consulting industry, consulting firm websites and Wikipedia descriptions of the consulting firms noted which are cited in the bibliography and the excellent book by D.McKenna (2006) The World‟s Newest Profession, (Cambridge University Press).
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