Karen ipa
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Guide to the Most Popular Forms of Management Consulting

Karen ipa

June 19, 2006

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Management consulting has grown rapidly since the first consulting company in the 1890's. In leaps and bounds it grew over 20% in the late 1980's and 1990's. It trickled off in the early 200's and has since maintained steady growth, with revenues up 3% in 2004.

Management consulting has a long and varied history. The first consulting agency was developed in the early 1890's by Arthur D. Little, an MIT professor who recognized a growing need for management and strategic advice for growing companies.

He was followed by the Booz Allen Hamilton Consulting Firm, who took management consulting one step further and began to service government clients in addition to purely business clients. This was a new step and set the standard for many companies that followed.

In 1926, another consulting agency emerged that would become one of the premier leaders in the field, McKinsey Management Consultants. After this run of management agencies, numerous others began to emerge, but true innovation occurred some years after WWII with the development and implementation of Boston Consulting Group.

In conjunction with other major management consultancy companies like Booz Allen, McKinsey, and the Harvard Business School, BCG began to develop the tools and strategies that would define the new field of strategic management.

Currently, there are several popular types of management consulting firms. They vary in size and scope, and range from broad to extremely specific focuses.

Broad, all-encompassing management consulting practices

These organizations typically offer a large number and range of services such as IT consulting right alongside a management consulting firm. They are diverse in the scope and range of services they offer, and aren't locked in to one specific industry.

Large, purely management and strategy based consulting agencies

These agencies tend to be purely focused on business management and consulting on a general level. They aren't specialized in one certain field and offer general services across multiple industries.

Medium and small specialized firms

These smaller firms are generally focused on a specific area of industry or technology. They don't consult on a general scale and typically stay within the industry in which they specialize.

Management consulting companies have long strived for innovation in the practice of management, and continue to grow in both size and scope.

From government organizations to small businesses, management consulting agencies have made an indelible mark on industries across the board, and continue to create and implement new management and strategic planning practices throughout the world.


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