Best Management Consulting Books

Best Management Consulting BooksThe top strategy consulting firms seem esoteric and formidable from the outside. One way to get a peak inside the industry would be to read some of the best management consulting books.

Even if you aren’t planning to join a consulting firm, these consulting books have enough wisdom and ideas that you can use as a business manager in your own company.

Business Doctors: Management Consulting Gone Wild (for those who haven’t read it yet) is an unusual book – in the sense that it is hardcore fiction, but with strong influences from the management consulting world.

[The protagonist is an Ivy League educated management consultant who gets hired by the mafia to makeover their businesses in gambling, drugs and porn.]

Though it won’t help you get into any consulting firm, it’s a fun, entertaining introduction to the consulting world.

For this list (it’s not a ranking), we are sticking to non-fiction.
 

Best Management Consulting Books

Here’s the list of the best management consulting books available in the market. You can pick up if you are interested in becoming a management consultant.
 

Book Title Author(s)
The McKinsey Way Ethan Rasiel
The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy Carl W. Stern & Michael S. Deimler
Case In Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation Marc Cosentino
Blue Ocean Strategy W.C. Kim & R. Mauborgne
Competitive Strategy Michael Porter
Managing The Professional Service Firm David H. Maister

Read on to know more about each.
 

The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel

If you have ever wondered how the consultants working in the most influential consulting firm in the world, this is a good book to pick up.

The author, Rasiel, a former consultant with McKinsey delves into every stage of the consulting process that starts from building the right team to making the final recommendations.

The same author has also published The McKinsey Mind. Read more on Amazon.
 

The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy by Carl W. Stern & Michael S. Deimler

This book, just like The McKinsey Way, looks at the consulting world through its proprietary consulting processes.

However, the author claims that the insights are relevant for any industry and you don’t have to be a consultant to get practical and tangible benefits from the tools, techniques and ideas that the top consulting use for their clients. Read more on Amazon
 

Case In Point: Complete Case Interview Preparation by Marc Cosentino

Wall Street Journal calls this the MBA Bible. It’s the book that most MBA students refer to when they want to prepare for case interviews that they’ll encounter when they are going through the nerve-wracking consulting recruitment process at the top consulting firms.

The author uses humor to ensure that the book come across as being too dry. Read more on Amazon
 

Blue Ocean Strategy W.C. Kim & R. Mauborgne

Traditional strategies for market dominance revolved around cost advantage and product differentiation. Blue Ocean Strategy introduced another perspective to it.

Instead of fighting the competition in bloody red waters, the book suggests exploring new, untapped markets (blue oceans) where the innovative company sets the rules of the game.

The simple yet powerful idea is supported by numerous examples in the book. Read more on Amazon
 

Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter

Heard of Porter’s 5-Force Analysis? The legendary mother-of-all-strategy-frameworks was made popular by this book. Consulting firms as well as the clients they serve have used concepts and adapted them for their own use.

If you are an MBA student, this would be part of the mandatory reading material listed by the business school. Read more on Amazon
 

Managing The Professional Service Firm by David H. Maister

From the title, it might seem that this book is aimed at Partners of consulting firms, but it’s not. It’s got enough relevant insights that are relevant to anyone who’s associated with consulting firms right from associates to clients to partners.

While many other consulting books focus on cracking cases and getting into the best consulting firms, this one provides top level perspectives too – right from the various parameters used to measure success of a consulting firm (are billable hours better or partner profit?). Read more on Amazon
 
There you have it, our little list of the best consulting books. Over to you now. Have you read any other popular management consulting books that we haven’t listed here?

Also, out of curiosity, are you aware of any other consulting books in the fiction genre (as opposed to non-fiction that we’ve covered here)?

If you are too lazy to read thick, fat books, we’ve summarised not only Strategic Management topics but also other major subjects in the MBA syllabus.


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Sameer Kamat //
Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball. Author of Beyond The MBA Hype & Business Doctors. Here’s more about me. Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

7 Comments

  1. Ajinder Kaur says:

    Thank you very much for your time to submit this books! I really appreciate it. I am definitely looking forward on reading about your book.

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    Let me know what you think about it after reading, Ajinder. A review on Goodreads and Quora would be highly appreciated.

  3. Rohit says:

    Great sources Sameer and specially the Blue Ocean Strategy. I’ve been reading reading it and i must say quiet an impressive book. Good work, keep sharing.

  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    Thanks, Rohit. Good luck with your consulting training initiative.

  5. Bhoomit says:

    Hi Sameer,

    Right now i am in a final year of engineering and got placed in PWC(Advisory) as a senior cyber security analyst.
    My ultimate plan is to work in management consultancy.
    so should i do mba right after my under graduation or after having some work experience?
    Do big consultancy firms look for work experience?
    And how much value working at PWC can add to my career?
    Thanks in Advance.

  6. Roopa says:

    Hi sameer

    I want to get into mckinsey, Bain or other top consulting firms. I have an MBA degree from University College. And not from any premier institute.Would that be a reason why I won’t be placed?

  7. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Bhoomit: Get 3-4 years of good experience and then try to get into one of the top MBA programs for consulting. This list may help: http://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2012/11/10/best-bschools-for-consultant-jobs/

    @Roopa: Yes, that may be the reason. The best consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and Boston Consulting Group limit their recruiting efforts to a few schools. Check the list shared above with Bhoomit.

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