|James O. McKinsey (June 4, 1889 – November 30, 1937) was the founder of McKinsey & Company. |
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The Early Years
James O. McKinsey was the founder of McKinsey & Company and was born near Gamma, Missouri in 1889. In 1913, he received a Bachelor of Pedagogy degree from State Normal No.2 College in Warrensburg (became known as Warrensburg Teachers College) and today is the University of Central Missouri.
Management theory was still in its infancy when James O. McKinsey (or Mac, as he was known by friends and colleagues) founded the firm that bears his name in 1926. He had left his academic career as a professor of accounting at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1935, then known only as the Graduate School of Business or GSB, to build a firm that provided finance and budgeting services, but quickly gained a reputation for providing advice on organization and management issues.
In 1913 "Mac" received a Bachelor of Pedagogy degree from State Normal No.2 College in Warrensburg (became known as Warrensburg Teachers College) and today is the University of
1912-13 College Catalog State Normal School WarrensburgHe received a law degree in 1914 from University of Arkansas, and studied and taught bookkeeping at St. Louis University. He also earned both a bachelor's and master's degree in commerce
from the University of Chicago, and passed the CPA examination in 1919. McKinsey is credited with the first textbook in management accounting Managerial Accounting,
published in 1924, and the book on business budgeting, Budgetary Control, published in 1922.
ROBERT JAMES McKINSEY (Age 90)
The firm was founded in 1926 by James O. McKinsey. Born in 1889 and raised in a three-room house near Gamma, MO., the
ambitious McKinsey was a professor and consultant, and an early practitioner of the principles of “scientific management,” or the detailed study of work flow and the division of labor. The company not only survived the Depression, it thrived, until the untimely death of McKinsey in 1937. His disciple Marvin Bower took the firm to consulting glory over the next 30 years, in part through an obsession with being “professional”—in appearance, tone, and conduct. Bower once forbade all junior consultants from wearing argyle socks because he thought they would distract clients. And the firm’s consultants were required to wear fedoras until President Kennedy stopped wearing them.
1926: McKinsey and Company (Business)
One can argue about the value of modern-day management consulting. Some swear by the expertise consultants gather while unraveling the ugliest problems for some of the largest
companies on the planet. Others lump the profession’s practitioners in the company of thieves and pirates.What is not debatable is that McKinsey sits at the top of the consulting heap. Its run began in 1926 when a former professor of accounting from the University of Chicago, James O. McKinsey (Mac to his friends), founded his namesake firm to
provide finance and budgeting services. In the 1920s consultants were largely efficiency experts, parachuting in to help struggling companies as they went through a massive industrial shift. Mac’s genius was in convincing even healthy companies they could use his firm’s expertise to succeed.
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McKinsey & Co. are supposed to know it all. They’re business consultants who travel the world and charge corporations top dollar to help them run with state-of-the-art efficiency. McKinsey gets called in when things are good (time to expand!) or, like now, bad (to give bosses cover to make bloody-minded decisions). Known as “the Firm,” McKinsey has consultants in 90 offices in 50 countries. They hire the best-credentialed people, and they pay them well. By their own count, they serve 80 of the Fortune 100, though who, precisely, retains them, they try to keep confidential.
McKinsey is brought in to let companies in on the latest in global management fads (a few years back, McKinsey reportedly evangelized about “the war for talent,” which meant
“promote stars,” even if they don’t have experience), or to target workers for layoffs (e.g., “streamlining,” “downsizing”).
McKinsey consultants Tom Peters and Robert Waterman pretty much invented the notion of “corporate culture” in their book In Search of Excellence, which sold 6 million copies.
McKinsey hired its first Harvard M.B.A. in 1953 and continues to cherry-pick from the school’s Baker Scholars—the top 5 percent of the graduating class. At one point, more than a third of the firm’s consultants held a Harvard M.B.A.
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A 2008 study by USA Today calculated that the odds of a McKinsey employee’s becoming CEO at a public company were the best in the world, at 1 in 690.
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1932 Bio - Chicago's Accomplishments and Leaders
JAMES O. McKINSEY
Mr. McKinsey, senior partner of James O. McKinsey and Company, accountants and engineers, was born in Gamma, Missouri, June 4, 1889, son of James Madison and Mary Elizabeth (Logan) McKinney. He graduated from the State Teachers College in Warrensburg, Missouri, in 1913; received his LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) degree from the University of Arkansas in 1914, and his Ph.B. (Bachelor of Philosophy) degree in 1916, and his A.M. (Master of Arts) degree in 1919 at the University of Chicago. From 1913 to 1916 he was a high school teacher in St. Louis, Missouri, and since 1917 has been a member of the faculty of the University of Chicago, being professor of business administration since 1926. He lectured on accounting at Columbia University from 1920 to 1921. In 1919 he became a certified public accountant in Illinois, and from that year has been engaged in professional work. Since 1926 he has been senior partner of James O. McKinsey and Company. This company which maintains offices in Chicago and New York, specializes in financial and management surveys. Mr. McKinsey spends much of his time in serving in an advisory capacity to presidents of organizations. Mr. McKinsey is a director of Phoenix Hosiery Company, United States Radio and Television Corporation, Selected Shares Corporation, and other well known corporations. He served as private, later as lieutenant, in the Ordnance Department, United States Army, from 1917 to 1919. He is a member of the American Institute of Accountants, American Management Association, National Association of Cost Accountants, Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants, and Delta Sigma Pi, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Delta Theta Phi fraternities. His clubs are Attic, Union League, Quadrangle, South Shore Country, and Olympia Fields Country in Chicago, and The Rookery in New York. He is author of the following: Bookkeeping and
Accounting, 1920; Budgetary Control, 1922; Managerial Accounting, 1924; Business Administration, 1925; and Accounting Principles, 1929; also several pamphlets published by American Management Association and other organizations. On June 12, 1920, Mr. McKinsey married Alice Louise Anderson of Sioux City, Iowa, and they have two children, Robert and Richard, who are twins.
Sept. 2, 1942 Chicago Tribune