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by Vault Consulting Editors | March 07, 2011


Each year since 1997, the research consultants at Hay Group have teamed up with the editors at Fortune magazine to rank the top 50 most admired companies in the world. This year was no different, as the pair released the 2011 rankings late last week. Consulting firms continued a barren streak on the list; Accenture, which came in tied for 49th, was the only legit consultancy to crack the top 50. Accenture also took the No. 2 spot in the IT Services subsection, behind IBM.

was responsible for the research and execution of the rankings, derived from a survey that polled roughly 15,000 senior businesspeople around the world. The firm's methodology dictates that participating companies must meet or exceed $10 billion in annual revenue; that would both explain Accenture's inclusion (one of the 100,000+ giants of the consulting world) and the exclusion of leading lights Bain, BCG and McKinsey, which have much smaller headcounts and annual revenues well under $10 billion.

Mel Stark, Hay Group VP, stressed that there were practical business lessons to be gleaned from the results. "Employee engagement has become critical to organizational performance, particularly as we emerge from a time when many employees were asked to do more with less," he said. "The World’s Most Admired Companies understand that money is not always what matters most to employees and over the past year, they have focused on fostering work-life balance for employees, while increasing productivity and decreasing the likelihood that work tasks will crowd out personal time."

While Hay Group toiled to lend strategic insight to its raw data, Fortune simply converted it into a 50-company list and offered little further information of use. The publication failed to offer as much as a sentence about Accenture's triumph, so we'll give voice to those Facebook users who commented on its inclusion. A brief sample:

"Proud to be a part of such admired organization!"

"Arthur Anderson reincarnated."

"Certainly one of the more admired companies."

"Clearly none of the people involved in ranking these companies has ever had to rely on Accenture to fix anything for them."

So there you have it: While business leaders across the globe rate Accenture among the world's most admired companies, more than a few interested parties on the ground would beg to differ. As is the case with all consulting firms, I should note. Consultants are a schizophrenic bunch indeed.

Oh, and Apple took top spot for the fourth year in a row.

For more information:
Hay Group: How we identify and rank the Most Admired


Filed Under: Consulting

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