A.T. Kearney Inc.: The Push to become a Management Consulting Titan
(7 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In the first quarter of 2019, A.T. Kearney Inc.’s managing partner had to find a strategy that would help the company move into the top tier of the world’s management consultancy firms. The new leader was only the ninth managing partner in the firm’s history, having succeeded the previous leader one year earlier. He was a member of the firm’s board of directors and had previously led the company’s global Communications, Media & Technology practice. He had also been named one of The Top 25 Consultants by Consulting magazine. After his appointment as managing director, he announced that A.T. Kearney Inc. would continue to be committed to helping its clients with their biggest and most important challenges. However, the firm faced a major challenge of its own: how to become a US$2 billion management consultancy titan as quickly as possible and compete against the industry’s giants. A.T. Kearney Inc. had to determine what would be the best option for the future of the company.
This case is appropriate for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on corporate strategy, strategic management, management consultancy, or business services management. For a course on strategy, the case offers an alternative industry context to apply a strategic framework and discuss strategic options, compared to commonly used settings such as the manufacturing, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, or retail industry. The case can be used to apply a strategic framework specifically to the consultancy industry or expose the differences in the industry that may require an augmented or refined framework. Those differences may include the nature of the firm’s business model or the role that the consultant–client relationship plays in the value creation process. In a course on management consultancy, this can be an introductory case. It provides a brief history and background of the consultancy industry, detailing some of the key evolutionary steps. It also brings knowledge of the industry up to date by covering recent innovations and challenges such as digital transformation, disruption, and modular forms of organizing. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- learn about the business strategies of major firms in the management consultancy industry;
- discuss what challenges leadership teams face when coping with market disruptions in a professional services industry; and
- evaluate a company’s options for becoming a disruptive force when pursuing growth in the consultancy industry.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
United States, Large, 2019
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