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The Arthur D. Little Inc. building at 30 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Massachusetts, near MIT, which opened in 1917.
Entrance to 30 Memorial Drive ADL building
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 all of his 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 1917, the company, originally based at 103 Milk Street in Boston, moved to a building of its own, the Arthur D. Little Inc., Building, at 30 Memorial Drive on the Charles River next to the new campus of MIT, which had also relocated from Boston to Cambridge.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
In November 1953, ADL opened a 40-acre site for its Acorn Park labs in west Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 6 miles (10 km) from MIT. The new site took its name from the company motto - "Glandes Sparge Ut Quercus Crescant," translated as "Scatter Acorns That Oaks May Grow."  The Memorial Drive Trust, a tax-exempt retirement trust for the benefit of its employees, was set up. From 1972 to 2001 ADL owned Cambridge Consultants Ltd in Cambridge UK and both companies forged close links.
As the pioneer firm in professional services, Arthur D. Little played a key role in numerous 20th-century business initiatives:
In 1911 ADL organized General Motors' first R&D lab, leading to the formation of the firm's dedicated management consulting division, and the birth of the management consulting industry.
By 2001, Arthur D. Little reached its peak as a global consulting firm. However, a new management team mismanaged the company's core business and engaged in manipulation of the Memorial Drive Trust. The ADL Board of Trustees replaced this management team. However, the damage had been done, and Arthur D. Little filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002. At an auction in 2002, Paris-based Altran Technologies bought the non-U.S. assets and brand name of Arthur D. Little.
Under Altran's ownership, Arthur D. Little operated primarily as a European-centric company initially, rebuilding and strengthening its core practices in oil and gas, telecommunications, automotive, manufacturing, and chemicals. Later ADL grew and expanded throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and continued to be recognized for its expertise in areas combining aspects of technology, innovation, and strategy.
Refounding - Current Partnership Organization
A group of partners led a management buyout from the Altran group in 2011. The MBO was completed on 30 December 2011 with the vast majority of ADL directors becoming partners and shareholders. A small number of principals, as well as the CFO and COO, are also 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 of directors and several elected committees - Compensation Committee, Partnership Committee, and an Audit Committee. Since the MBO, ADL opened new offices in Turkey, Oslo, Buenos Aires, Singapore, and Hong Kong. In addition, ADL recently re-established itself in the US market and has opened offices in Boston, Houston, New York, and San Francisco.
Arthur D. Little is organized across a number of industry specialty groups including Automotive, Energy / Utilities / Chemicals, Telecommunication / Information / Media / Electronics (TIME), Consumer Goods & Retail, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Engineering / Manufacturing, Public Services, and Travel & Transportation. Major service lines are in Strategy & Organization, Technology Innovation Management, Operations Management, and Risk/Safety.
Rankings, Awards, and Recognitions
In 2018, Arthur D. Little was rated #10 and #9 in Vault's 2018 Consulting rankings for Asia and Europe respectively.
ADL recently re-established itself the US market and has been recognized by Forbes in 2016, 2017, and 2018 as one of "America's Best Management Consulting Firms"  and made its debut as #34 in Vault's 2017 North America Consulting rankings.
On Vault's global rankings of key employment factors, ADL was ranked #7 for firm culture, #9 for international opportunities, and #13 for relationship with supervisors.
Arthur D. Little publishes a number of regular global studies including:
Twice a year, Arthur D. Little publishes its latest thinking on strategy, technology and innovation in its corporate magazine Prism.
The Annual Arthur D. Little - Exane BNP Paribas report which has provided in-depth analysis of the telecoms sector since 2001
In addition, Arthur D. Little frequently publishes topical or industry-centric reports. Recent examples include:
Media Flow of Funds 2017 : Consolidate, Diversity, or Perish, which is the most recent in a multi-year study assessing the digital shifts in the content industry and the associated shifts in value along the industry ecosystem.
Telecoms & Media Flagship Report 2017 : Major strategic choices ahead of TelCos: Reconfiguring for value which assesses how digitalization will impact telecommunication operators' configuration.
In 1961, Arthur D. Little launched the first management education program to focus exclusively on training general managers from developing countries. Originally known as the Arthur D. Little Management Education Institute, this was a fully accredited academic institution with master's degree granting status. In 1996, the Arthur D. Little School of Management formed a partnership with Boston College's Carroll School of Management in order to gain access to faculty and facilities.
In 1987, ADL claimed that sabotage was likely 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.
Analysis by Arthur D. Little argues that the Negligence argument was impossible for several tangible reasons.
^^ Jump up to: a b c d e Kalelkar AS, Little AD (1988). Investigation of Large-magnitude Incidents: Bhopal as a Case Study. London: Presented at the Institution of Chemical Engineers conference on preventing major chemical accidents.