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Can someone please rate my AWA Essay? This is my 3rd time

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Can someone please rate my AWA Essay? This is my 3rd time [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2011, 07:40
Can someone please rate my AWA analysis of an issue essay? This is the 3rd essay that I wrote. I am still struggling (big time!) with keeping to 30 minutes. I also think English is a hurdle (I am not a native speaker). I am doing very well in the verbal and quant. sections and was aiming to take the GMAT in September because of this but now I am not sure if I should be spending more time on AWA (and postpone my GMAT)?


“Corporations and other businesses should try to eliminate the many ranks and salary grades
that classify employees according to their experience and expertise. A ‘flat’ organizational structure
is more likely to encourage collegiality and cooperation among employees.” Discuss the extent to
which you agree or disagree with the opinion stated above. Support your views with reasons
and/or examples from your own experience, observations, or reading.


Should corporations and other businesses aim to have a “flat” organizational structure or should they try to classify employees into ranks and salary grades based on their expertise and skills and hence create a hierarchical, vertical structure. My opinion is that although a flat organizational structure could have its merits, they are not significant enough for us to forgo the concept that businesses should reward employees with ranks and salary grades according to their performance. In my next few paragraphs, I will aim to show that the main claimed benefits of a flat organization do not out-weight the benefit of motivation that is possible through the hierarchical model.

The first benefit of a flat organization, according to its supporters, is that it encourages collegiality and cooperation among employees. To this, I have two responses.

Firstly, assuming this is true, one could argue that a hierarchical organization encourages competition between employees and hence brings the best out of each of them. Admittedly, this could mean less of a team work spirit and more of a competitive spirit but the question then becomes which of the two spirits is most important for businesses. My stance is that this will differ from business to business according to the corporate culture and goals and hence there is no ground for asserting that all businesses should eliminate ranks to encourage collegiality.

Secondly, and more importantly, I would argue that the layers of middle management that are created by the hierarchical organization are more influential in encouraging collegiality than the flat structure. I have seen, and heard about, several cases where the team leader was able to keep cooperation among his team at its best. After all, leadership is all about motivating people and a good leader has to be able to motivate his team to work together as one team and to cooperate with other teams within the company.

The second benefit of a flat organization, as cited by its supporters, would be exposure; exposure of the employee to the company and its goals, vision, and direction. And also, the exposure of the employee to senior management which should allow the employee to be better recognized for his skills and should safeguard the employee from any discrimination, or unfairness from his direct manager. I personally worked for a flat organization where I had only one layer, manager, between the global CEO and I and, admittedly, there is better exposure to the company goals and vision in a flat organization. However, based on my experience, I think the claim that the employee becomes better exposed to senior management simply over estimates the bandwidth of most managers. While the global CEO was only one person away from me, she had too many people who are also one person away from her and so the real exposure to her that I had was a 30 minutes call every year! So while on paper it looked like she was revising my appraisal versus the claims of my manager, in reality the only tie I had with the company was my supervisor and everything he would claim about me would be taken for its face value. In addition, I had the exact opposite experience in my earlier company where there were many ranks and up to three levels above me knew very well how I was performing, since they had less people to look after (the global CEO was obviously not one of these three levels). I was certainly more safeguarded in this hierarchical structure from any unfairness from my direct manager.

In conclusion, the most important argument for a hierarchical structure is that “the many ranks and salary grades that classify employees according to their experience and expertise” are needed to motivate and reward employees. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to differentiate between employees based on performance and we would be unfair to high performers. The very few benefits of a flat structure that stand scrutiny do not out weight this ultimate benefit; motivating employees by treating them fairly.
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Re: Can someone please rate my AWA Essay? This is my 3rd time [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2011, 19:26
If typing speed is something that is slowing you down then my recommendation would be to get a free prep software and practice on typing for a 15-30 min every day. The length of the essay looks good (length is one of the measures for your score I believe.). Third para does not follow the structure of second and third para (firstly, secondly.. it should be thirdly or use Moreover or something for transition. All the best.
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Re: Can someone please rate my AWA Essay? This is my 3rd time [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2011, 23:59
sheriff260,

Almost there. This would in most cases be rated a 6.0, though there are still some small improvements possible:
1. Restating the topic in the first sentence is redundant.
2. The second last paragraph does not fit with the structure. The ones before that make main points, while this one makes a subsidiary point.
3. The inverted commas you have used in the last paragraph are grammatically incorrect. They should be used only when you are quoting someone in the third person.
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Re: Can someone please rate my AWA Essay? This is my 3rd time   [#permalink] 14 Aug 2011, 23:59
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