Knowledge management in Accenture: 1992 - January 2001

Terjesen, Siri A. (2003) Knowledge management in Accenture: 1992 - January 2001. In Gooderham, Paul & Nordhaug, Odd (Eds.) International Management: Cross-Boundary Challenges. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, pp. 234-257.


Accenture is the world’s leading management consulting and technology services company with more than 75,000 employees in 47 countries. (See Appendix A for a comparison with other management consultancies.) The company generated net revenues of US $11.6 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002. Accenture split from Andersen Worldwide in August 2000. Accenture went public in a $1.6 billion initial public offering in August 2001, and trades as ACN on the New York Stock Exchange. Accenture consultants work in eight service lines: Strategy and Business Architecture, Human Performance, Customer Relationship Management, Finance and Performance Management, Supply Chain Management, Technology Research and Innovation, Solutions Engineering, and Solutions Operations. These capabilities are then matrixed across five operating groups: Communications and High Technology, Government, Financial Services, Products, and Resources. Careers are stepped in a five-tier hierarchy: Partners, Associate Partners, Managers, Consultants and Analysts. Accenture’s Knowledge Management (KM) organization mirrors the consulting practice, but has different promotion time frames and fewer top executives. Partner Jill Smart reports directly to Gill Rider, Chief Leadership Officer and Managing Partner, Human Resources on company KM efforts (See Appendix B). Accenture has invested fifteen years, countless people hours, and over US $500 million to support the KM strategy’s technological and organizational aspects. According to Chairman and CEO Joe Forehand, The execution of our business strategy is dependent on how we create, share and protect knowledge. Knowledge sharing is the essence of how we bring innovations to change the way the world works and lives. The company estimates savings each year, but does not have quantified benefit data. Moreover, the vast KM databases and people networks give Accenture an edge over competitors and a platform for the future. Thomas Davenport, director of an Accenture research center and a frequent author on KM, shared "Companies have come to realize that there is a benefit to effective and explicit management of knowledge and that the opportunity cost-- e.g. the cost of ignorance -- is even harder to quantify than its benefits."

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ID Code: 4385
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Knowledge Mangement, Accenture, Management Consulting, KM, Knowledge Sharing
ISBN: 9780631233428
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 Blackwell Publishing
Copyright Statement: The definite version is available on publication at
Deposited On: 30 May 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:26

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