The Boston Consulting Group: Wikis


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The Boston Consulting Group
Type Partnership
Founded 1963
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Boston, Massachusetts
69 offices in 40 countries
Key people Hans-Paul Bürkner, President & CEO
Industry Management consulting
Products Management consulting services
Revenue US$ 2.75 billion (2009)
Employees 4,400 [1]

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm, founded by Bruce Henderson in 1963. It has 69 offices in 40 countries, and its current CEO is Hans-Paul Bürkner. BCG is generally ranked as one of the most "prestigious" management consulting firms in the industry.[1]

The firm prides itself on its employee-focused culture. It is one of only 3 companies to appear in the top 15 of Fortune magazine's "Best companies to work for" report for 5 consecutive years.[2] In the 2009 list, BCG is listed as the 3rd best company to work for, and is the only top-tier consulting firm to appear in the top 100.[3]

The company was formed when Henderson, a Harvard Business School alumnus, left Arthur D. Little to become head of a new management consulting division of the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. [4]

In 1975 Henderson arranged an employee stock ownership plan, so that the employees could take the company independent from The Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company.[5] The buyout of all shares was completed in 1979.[6]


Thought Leadership


BCG Growth-Share Matrix


In 1968, BCG created the "Growth-Share Matrix", a simple chart to assist large corporations in deciding how to allocate cash among their business units.[7] The corporation would categorize its business units as "Stars", "Cash Cows", "Question Marks", and "Dogs" (originally "Pets"), and then allocate cash accordingly, moving money from "cash cows" toward "stars" and "question marks" that had higher market growth rates, and hence higher upside potential.[8][9]

The chart was popular for two decades and "continues to be used as a primer in the principles of portfolio management," as BCG says.

Experience Curve

The Experience Curve illustrates that the more often a task is performed the lower will be the cost of doing it. The task can be the production of any good or service. Each time cumulative volume doubles, value added costs (including administration, marketing, distribution, and manufacturing) fall by a constant and predictable percentage.

In the late 1960s Bruce Henderson, the founder of BCG, began to emphasize the implications of the experience curve for strategy.[10] BCG research concluded that because relatively low cost of operations is a very powerful strategic advantage, firms should capitalize on these learning and experience effects.[11] The reasoning is increased activity leads to increased learning, which leads to lower costs, which can lead to lower prices, which can lead to increased market share, which can lead to increased profitability and market dominance. According to BCG, the most effective business strategy was one of striving for market dominance in this way. This was particularly true when a firm had an early leadership in market share. It was claimed that if you cannot get enough market share to be competitive, you should get out of that business and concentrate your resources where you can take advantage of experience effects and gain dominant market share. The Growth-Share Matrix was developed (in part) to manage this strategy.

Advantage Matrix

Another "BCG Matrix", much less widely known, is the Advantage Matrix. The two axes are economies of scale and differentiation. The four quadrants formed are called "Volume", "Stalemated", "Specialized", and "Fragmented".


BCG regularly publishes articles, industry reports, and government commissioned studies relating to particular industries or business functions. For example, a recent series of articles called "Collateral Damage" discusses how the Subprime Crisis is affecting non-financial companies, and what they can do to survive.

In addition, many partners have written books on issues facing management in the modern business environment. Some recent publications include:

  • Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything. By Harold L. Sirkin, James W. Hemerling and Arindam K. Bhattacharya, 2008.
  • The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy. By Carl W. Stern and Michael S. Deimler, 2006. Classic anthology of articles on strategy and management
  • Payback - Reaping the Rewards of Innovation. By James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin, 2006. Published by the Harvard Business School Press, Payback has become a staple in the MBA curriculum.
  • Treasure Hunt - Inside the Mind of the New Consumer. By Michael J. Silverstein with John Butman, 2006.
  • Trading Up - Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods and How Companies Create Them. By Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske, 2003. A BusinessWeek Bestseller and Berry AMA book prize winner.
  • The Change Monster - The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change. Jeanie Daniel Duck, 2002.
  • Clausewitz on Strategy. By Tiha von Ghyczy and Bolko von Oetinger, 2001.
  • Blown to Bits - How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy. By Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster, 2000.


BCG typically hires for an Associate or a Consultant position[12]. Whilst so called "lateral hires" as Project Leader, Principal or Partner are possible, they are not the norm. BCG recruits undergraduates to join as Associates from the world's top academic institutions. In the United States, these institutions include about a dozen top private institutions. Top-performing Associates receive sponsorship to pursue an MBA, returning to BCG upon completion.[13] Some Associates advance to Consultant and beyond without obtaining an MBA. The vast majority of Associates attend one of the top business schools (most often, but not only Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Kellogg, INSEAD and Columbia, ). A few complete JDs, MD and other graduate degrees at various institutions (called ADCs for Advance Degrees Consultants). Like most consulting firms, BCG uses a modified version of the Cravath System.

BCG recruits MBA graduates to join as Consultants from the world's top business schools. BCG also makes large efforts to hire advanced non-business degree holders[14]. Graduates holding J.D.s, M.D.s and Ph.D.s in disciplines like engineering, science, and liberal arts receive training in business fundamentals[15] and then typically join the firm as Consultants. There is also an opportunity to join as a Summer Associate or Summer Consultant (internship) position for 10 weeks, which for many interns will result in an offer for full-time position.

Interview process

BCG uses the case method to conduct interviews, which is an interview technique designed to simulate the types of problems inherent in management consulting and to test the qualitative and quantitative skills deemed important for abstract thinking in a business setting.[16] There are multiple case interviews before an offer for employment is extended.


BCG competes most directly with McKinsey & Company, Booz & Company, and Bain & Company on client engagements (the former competing primarily for Fortune 500 strategy cases).[17] These are consistently rated as the most "prestigious" consulting firms,[1] and are considered to be "pure strategy" firms. With roughly 4,500 billable consultants,[18] BCG is smaller than McKinsey (8,400)[19] and larger than Bain (3,500).[20] BCG is the largest among the three in some countries, such as France, Germany or Australia, and has a larger international presence than Bain.

BCG also occasionally competes with other firms such as Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Monitor Group, and Capgemini, but less directly. These firms are generally priced significantly lower, and offer a different value proposition, often focused on their ability to implement the recommendations they give. It is common for a company to employ BCG as well as some of these firms, but often for different types of work.


Offices in Asia Pacific

New Zealand Auckland founded in 1990
Thailand Bangkok founded in 1994
People's Republic of China Beijing founded in 2001
Australia Canberra founded in 2010
Hong Kong Hong Kong founded in 1990
Indonesia Jakarta founded in 1995
Malaysia Kuala Lumpur founded in 1992
Australia Melbourne founded in 1990
India Mumbai founded in 1996

Japan Nagoya founded in 2003
India New Delhi founded in 2002
South Korea Seoul founded in 1994
People's Republic of China Shanghai founded in 1993
Singapore Singapore founded in 1995
Australia Sydney founded in 1990
Republic of China Taipei founded in 2003
Japan Tokyo founded in 1966

Offices in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi founded in 2007
Netherlands Amsterdam founded in 1993
Greece Athens founded in 2001
Spain Barcelona founded in 2002
Germany Berlin founded in 1999
Belgium Brussels founded in 1993
Hungary Budapest founded in 1997
Morocco Casablanca founded in 2010
Germany Cologne founded in 2001
Denmark Copenhagen founded in 1998
United Arab Emirates Dubai founded in 2007
Germany Düsseldorf founded in 1982
Germany Frankfurt founded in 1991
Germany Hamburg founded in 1994
Finland Helsinki founded in 1995
Turkey Istanbul founded in 2003 closed in 2005, and re-opened in 2010

Ukraine Kiev founded in 2007
Portugal Lisbon founded in 1995
United Kingdom London founded in 1970
Spain Madrid founded in 1987
Italy Milan founded in 1986
Russia Moscow founded in 1994
Germany Munich founded in 1975, European headquarters
Norway Oslo founded in 1996
France Paris founded in 1972
Czech Republic Prague founded in 2004
Italy Rome founded in 2001
Sweden Stockholm founded in 1988
Germany Stuttgart founded in 1997
Austria Vienna founded in 1997
Poland Warsaw founded in 1997
Switzerland Zürich founded in 1989

Offices in the Americas

United States Atlanta founded in 1995
United States Boston founded in 1963, Global Headquarters
Argentina Buenos Aires founded in 1995
United States Chicago founded in 1979
United States Dallas founded in 1994
United States Detroit founded in 2005
United States Houston founded in 2003
United States Los Angeles founded in 1982
Mexico Mexico City founded in 1998
United States Miami founded in 2003

United States Minneapolis founded in 2007
Mexico Monterrey founded in 1993
United States New Jersey founded in 2006
United States New York founded in 1984
United States Philadelphia founded in 2007
United States San Francisco founded in 1974
Chile Santiago founded in 2002
Brazil São Paulo founded in 1997
Canada Toronto founded in 1993
United States Washington, D.C. founded in 1996

Companies founded by current and former employees





Notable current and former employees


Politics and public service



See also


  1. ^ a b, "Management Strategy Consulting Firms Rankings: Top 50 Consulting Firms, 2010"
  2. ^ The other two are Wegmans and W.L. Gore & Associates. Company press release
  3. ^ Fortune Magazine, "100 Best Companies To Work For, 2009"
  4. ^ About BCG:
  5. ^ About BCG:
  6. ^ About BCG:
  7. ^ About BCG:
  8. ^ BCG Publication: The Product Portfolio, January 1970
  9. ^ BCG Publication: The Experience Curve Reviewed:
  10. ^ Hax, Arnoldo C.; Majluf, Nicolas S. (October 1982). "Competitive cost dynamics: the experience curve". Interfaces 12: 50–61. doi:10.1287/inte.12.5.50. 
  11. ^ Henderson, Bruce (1974, #149). "The Experience Curve Reviewed: V. Price Stability" ([PDF] Reprint). Perspectives (The Boston Consulting Group). Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  12. ^ BCG Careers:
  13. ^ BCG Careers:
  14. ^ BCG Careers:
  15. ^ BCG Careers
  16. ^ Join BCG:
  17. ^
  18. ^ Consulting Magazine: Sept 28, 2009
  19. ^ Consulting Magazine: Sept 28, 2009
  20. ^ Consulting Magazine: Sept 28, 2009
  21. ^ Moore, Galen. "Financial tech web plays arise from ashes of economy." Mass High Tech. July 31, 2009
  22. ^ Chief Executive magazine. "CEO of the Year 2005."
  23. ^ Cohan, Peter. "Will Obama serve Sam Adams at this week's White House happy hour?." July 28, 2009
  24. ^ VCgate. " Leading The Travel Search Engine Market." March 14, 2009
  25. ^ Business Wire. "Appointments Within LVMH's Watch & Jewellery Business Group." July 12, 2000
  26. ^ GMAC Financial Services press release. "New GMAC Board of Directors is Established." May 27, 2009
  27. ^ Yamazaki, Tomoko and Sato, Shigeru. "TCI Loses More Than Face as Japan Says No to Foreigners Playing." Bloomberg L.P.. July 29, 2009
  28. ^ Thomson Reuters. "News Corp appoints Jan Koeppen COO Europe and Asia." March 19, 2009
  29. ^ Kallmeyer, N. 'Mini Moguls: One good idea can lead to a career' Sydney Morning Herald, 25 June 2008, p.4
  30. ^ Hiralal, Baz. "J.P. Morgan banker exits to advise Russia on M&A?." May 15, 2009.
  31. ^ Byrt, William John. "Management Education: An International Survey"

External links


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