Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2005 (Revised January 2012)

McKinsey and the Globalization of Consultancy

by Geoffrey G. Jones and Alexis Lefort


Considers McKinsey's strategy during the first stage of the globalization of the management consultancy industry between the 1950s and 1973. Briefly reviews the history of management consulting before considering the factors that led McKinsey to open its first international office in London in 1959. Describes the subsequent rapid international growth of McKinsey and its leading competitors and their role in diffusing American management concepts worldwide. By 1973, however, McKinsey's new managing director faced evidence that the global demands for such services was in decline, in part because the American management model was becoming less attractive.

Keywords: History; Demand and Consumers; Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Service Operations; Consulting Industry;


Jones, Geoffrey G., and Alexis Lefort. "McKinsey and the Globalization of Consultancy." Harvard Business School Case 806-035, August 2005. (Revised January 2012.)