Management consultancy and ideology : the dissemination of corporate strategy in the world from 1950 to 2000

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Christopher MCKENNA

University Reader at the Saïd Business School,, Fellow of Brasenose College, Research Director of the Novak Druce Centre for Professional Service Firms, University of Oxford

Seminar Company cultures and managements | Monday June 27, 2011 - 17h - 19h

The beginnings of research into strategy are often said to date back to the 1960s and the work of a small number of researchers including Alfred Chandler. However, it is the large American consultancies which were most efficient at disseminating corporate strategy to multinationals. Having encouraged them to organise themselves into divisions, the strategic approach played a central role in breathing new life into companies after the economic slow-down of the 1970s in Europe and North America. Consultancy continued to grow enormously in the second half of the 20th century leading to the rapid spread of teaching on strategy in business schools. Ideology which was popularised in this way still greatly influences the vision of corporate governance. Are we moving towards a world of management which is completely standardised ?

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