Arthur D. Little
|Founded||1886 (formally incorporated as ADL in 1909)|
|Key people||Ignacio Garcia Alves, Global CEO|
|Products||Management consulting services|
|Employees||509 [2012 data] 644 [2010 data]|
Arthur D. Little is an international management consulting firm originally headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, and formally incorporated by that name in 1909 by Arthur Dehon Little, an MIT chemist who had discovered acetate. Arthur D. Little pioneered the concept of contracted professional services. The company played key roles in the development of business strategy, operations research, the word processor, the first synthetic penicillin, LexisNexis, and NASDAQ. Today the company is a multi-national management consulting firm operating as a partnership.
The roots of the company were started in 1886 by Arthur Dehon Little, an MIT chemist, and co-worker Roger B. Griffin (Russell B. Griffin), another chemist and a graduate of the University of Vermont who had met when they both worked for Richmond Paper Company. Their new company, Little & Griffin, was located in Boston where MIT was also located. Griffin and Little prepared a manuscript for The Chemistry of Paper-making which was for many years an authoritative text in the area. The book had not been entirely finished when Griffin was killed in a laboratory accident in 1893.
Little, who had studied Chemistry at MIT, collaborated with MIT and William Hultz Walker of the MIT Chemistry department, forming a partnership, Little & Walker, which lasted from 1900 to 1905, while both MIT and Little's company were still located in Boston. The partnership dissolved in 1905 when Walker dedicated his full-time to being in charge of the new Research Laboratory of Applied Chemistry at MIT.
Little continued on his own and formally incorporated the company, Arthur D. Little (ADL), in 1909. He conducted analytical studies, the precursor of the consulting studies for which the firm would later become famous. He also taught papermaking at MIT from 1893 to 1916.
In 1916 ADL was commissioned by the Canadian Pacific Railway to do a survey of Canada's natural resources. In 1917, the company moved to a building of its own, the Arthur D. Little Inc., Building, at 30 Memorial Drive on the Charles River next to the campus of MIT which had moved to Cambridge from Boston in 1916. In November 1953, ADL opened a forty acre site for their Acorn Park labs in West Cambridge, Massachusetts, near Arlington, Massachusetts, which is about 6 miles (10 km) from MIT. The Memorial Drive Trust, a tax-exempt retirement trust for the benefit of its employees was set up.
In 1981, ADL produced the European Commission's first white paper on telecommunications deregulation, having completed the first worldwide telecommunications database on phones installed, markets, technical trends, services and regulatory information. It also helped privatize British Rail, generally regarded as one of the most complex privatization exercises in the world.
By 2001, Arthur D. Little had reached its peak. But, a new management team had badly mismanaged the company's core business, had engaged in manipulation of the Memorial Drive Trust, and attempted a sale of the Technology and Product Development business. The ADL Board of Trustees replaced this management team, but the damage had already been done, and Arthur D. Little had to file chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002. At an auction in 2002, Paris-based Altran Technologies bought the Arthur D. Little brand name and financed a management buyout of the non-US offices.
Under Altran's ownership, Arthur D. Little successfully rebuilt its core practices in Oil & Gas, telecommunications, automotive and manufacturing, and chemicals. Arthur D. Little continues to be very active and recognized for its expertise in areas combining aspects of Technology, Innovation, and Strategy.
Current Partnership organisation
A group of Partners prepared a management buyout from the Altran group in 2011. The MBO was completed on 30 December 2011 with the majority of ADL directors becoming partners and shareholders. The firm is led by the elected global CEO, Ignacio Garcia-Alves, who was also the leader of the MBO team. Currently the firm operates with an elected Board, an elected Compensation Committee, and elected Partnership Committee, and an elected Audit Committee. Since the MBO, the firm has consistently improved its performance through the years and is on a growth path.
Arthur D. Little publishes a number of regular global studies including:
- The Future of Urban Mobility Study (2014 version in cooperation with International Association of Public Transport)  which is a comprehensive global urban mobility benchmarking report
- The Annual Arthur D. Little - Exane BNP Paribas report  which has provided in depth analysis of the telecoms sector every year since 2001
- The Global Innovation Excellence Study  which benchmarks innovation performance is published every 2–3 years and is in its 8th iteration
A collection of ADL thought leadership called Arthur D. Little PRISM is published twice a year.
In 1987, ADL claimed that sabotage was the cause of the Bhopal disaster, which resulted in the death of thousands. ADL was paid by Union Carbide, the company that owned the chemical plant responsible for the chemical disaster, causing critics, Indian government officials, and environmentalists to charge that ADL's report was not independent.
Notable current and former employees
|This section relies on references to primary sources. (August 2010)|
- Al Angrisani, Angrisani Turnarounds, LLC
- Robin Chater, Secretary-General of the Federation of European Employers
- Tamara J. Erickson, leading business thinker and author on collaboration, innovation, and the nature of work
- William J. J. Gordon and George M. Prince, creators of synectics.
- Bruce Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group
- Dipl.-Ing. Philipp Hess, Geschäftsführer (Managing Director) Hans Hess Autoteile GmbH
- Charles Koch, Chairman and chief executive officer, Koch Industries
- Royal Little, founder of Textron, Inc.
- Sam Malin, co-founder and CEO of Madagascar Oil
- Dr. Devendra Singh, strategist
- H. Donald Wilson, first president of LexisNexis database
- Politics and public service
- Merrill Cook, former member of the United States House of Representatives from Utah.
- Glen Fukushima, advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton
- James M. Gavin, US Army Lieutenant General, World War II veteran, Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, and later US Ambassador to France
- David Brown, Chief Executive IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers)
- Karl P. Stevenson, Arthur D. Little's President and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Chemical and Biological Warfare that in 1950 expedited the creation of Camp Detrick's Special Operations Division that consolidated chemical and biological warfare projects in one location.
- Winnett Boyd, engineer
- Fischer Black, economist who co-developed option pricing which led to a nobel price for his co-authors (the nobel prize is not awarded posthumously)
- Philip Chapman, Australian-born American astronaut
- Peter Glaser, inventor of the Solar power satellite
- Raymond Hainer, chemist and mentor of Donald Schon
- David Levy, inventor
- Pamela Low, developed the flavored coating for Cap'n Crunch cereal
- Donald Schön, academic
- Peter Scott-Morgan, pioneer of techniques to reveal the hidden reality of how organizations and society behave
- Jack Treynor, economist
- Bernard Vonnegut, atmospheric scientist
- Jean E. de Valpine, CEO of Memorial Drive Trust
- Deschamps; Nayak, P. Ranganath (1995). Product Juggernauts: How Companies Mobilize to Generate a Stream of Market Winners. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 0-87584-341-7. OCLC 31330407.
- Public Finance Balance of Smoking in the Czech Republic, 2001
- Roussel; Saad, Kamal N.; Erickson, Tamara J. (1991). Third Generation R & D: Managing the Link to Corporate Strategy. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. ISBN 0-87584-252-6. OCLC 22596604.
- Scott-Morgan, Peter (1994). The Unwritten Rules of the Game: Master Them, Shatter Them, and Break Through the Barriers to Organizational Change. McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-07-057075-2
- Jonash, Ronald (1994). Innovation Premium. Perseus Publishing. ISBN 978-0738203607
- "Arthur D. Little - Locations"
- "Arthur D. Little - About Us"
- Scatter Acorns That Oaks May Grow: An Arthur D. Little Exhibit, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Institute Archives and Special Collections, 2009-08-25
- Little, A.D.; Griffin, R.B., "The Chemistry of Paper-Making, together with the principles of general chemistry; a handbook for the student and manufacturer", New York : Howard Lockwood & Co., 1894.
- Report: "On the Making of Silk Purses from Sows' Ears," 1921, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Institute Archives and Special Collections, 2009-08-25
- "ADL History Timeline" - ADL
- Photographs: Early Days/30 Memorial Drive, Cambridge/Arthur D. Little/Acorn Park, Cambridge, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Institute Archives and Special Collections, 2010-03-18
- "New York Times - July 14, 1987"
- Glater, Jonathan (2002-06-02). "Arthur D. Little Plans Bankruptcy Filing". NY Times. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
- Altran website "The Group signed, on November 1st, 2011, a termsheet for an MBO concerning the disposal of Arthur D. Little due to be finalised by the year-end"
- Business Wire
- "Prestige Management and Strategy Consulting Firms 2013", methodology by Vault.com. ADL is ranked 21st.
- Rankings of Management Consulting Firms in Germany 2008 - ADL was 17th
- Arthur D. Little - The Future of Urban Mobility 2.0 available from ADL website
- Arthur D. Little - Exane BNP Paribas report available from ADL website
- Wall Street Journal coverage of the ADL Global Innovation Excellence Study
- ADL Global Innovation Excellence Study available from ADL website
- PRISM is available from its website http://www.adl.com/prism.html or free on demand from any of the corporate offices.
- BBC. "Response: Union Carbide and Dow Chemical". BBC Website. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Laymon, Brent. "Carbide Consultant Says Sabotage Caused Bhopal Tragedy". AP Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- A Terrible Mistake:The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments A Terrible Mistake:The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments - H.P.Albarelli - July 1, 2009 - ISBN 0-9777953-7-3
- Eagar, Rick, “Who says it can't be done?” : A brief history of Arthur D. Little, PRISM magazine, 2006 (issue for the 120th anniversary of the company)
- James Adams (1992). Bull's eye: the assassination and life of supergun inventor Gerald Bull. (Chapter Seven) Times Books.
- Peter Herman (2006). Managing other people's business, but not our own. www.adlbook.com
- E. J. Kahn, Jr. (1986). The Problem Solvers. Little Brown.