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Mckinsey & Co. Managing Knowledge and Learning

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Mckinsey & Co. Managing Knowledge and Learning

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Michelle Abbott Professor Jon Down December 10, 2002 Written Case Analysis

McKinsey & Company: Managing Knowledge and Learning Evaluating Gupta’s Four Pronged Plan

Rajat Gupta has recently inherited a fast-growing consulting firm with a strong knowledge base and a competitive market position. In order to ensure the future success of McKinsey & Company, however, Gupta faces a number of challenges: he must provide outstanding services to an increasingly sophisticated clientele, offer his employees ongoing education and upwardly mobile career paths, continually enhance McKinsey’s reputation as a leader in the consulting field, and, perhaps most significantly, continue to leverage his company’s knowledge base across divisions while still maintaining the unity and cohesive corporate culture that have always been important to McKinsey. Gupta seems determined to pursue knowledge as the company’s key business driver. Accordingly, his four-pronged plan includes an emphasis on practice development and organizational learning, an annual program called the Practice Olympics, six special initiatives focused on emerging issues, and the expansion of McKinsey’s research institute. But can Gupta successfully tend to all of these initiatives at once without fragmenting the company? And are there critical business areas that he overlooks with this approach?

Source: The St. Martin's Handbook, 5th edition, by Andrea A. Lunsford (Bedford/St. Martin's, 2003)

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Information Sharing & Corporate Unity vs. Cost-Effectiveness Despite its rapid growth, McKinsey & Company is attempting to maintain its “One Firm” policy in which responsibilities and profits are shared throughout the company rather than solely within offices. Though the company is divided into clientele sectors, centers of competence, and generalists and specialists, the philosophy of unity ensures that knowledge resources are continually distributed across these sectors. Considerable effort has been invested in...