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"Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you

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Joined: 23 Jul 2012
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Concentration: Finance, Strategy
GMAT 1: 560 Q37 V28
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GPA: 3.75
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 4

"Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 17:51
“Our research indicates that over the past six years no incidents of employee theft have been reported within ten of the companies that have been our clients. In analyzing the security practices of these ten companies, we have further learned that each of them requires its employees to wear photo identification badges while at work. In the future, therefore, we should recommend the use of such identification badges to all of our clients.”

The author concludes that it would recommend the use of identification badges to all of its future clients. The author’s line of reasoning is that the current lists of clients, 10 companies, have had no theft over the past six years. The reason for that is because they have implemented a policy such that each employee needs to wear a badge while at work. The author’s reasoning is unconvincing and fails to explain two critical areas.

To begin with, the author assumes that each employee within the ten companies is ethical and abides by the law. What if, there are employees who are not ethical and use the badge of others to enter work or access confidential areas at work. This would lead to a serious problem since the person accessing those areas would be recognized as authorized personnel in the system whereas in reality the person using it is not.

This leads to the second issue, which is verification of identification before entering the work. The author assumes that the companies have a process in place whereby each employee is being verified against their identification badge before entering the workplace. What if there is no process in place. This would lead to strangers entering the building with stolen/misplaced badges and going unrecognized.

To conclude, this argument has serious flaws that need to be addressed. To strengthen this argument, the author will need to provide additional evidence to prove that employees are ethical or that there is a process in place to verify the identification badge. A system monitor log showing the ins and outs of people would also help to analyze the unusual trends if any. Without additional evidence, the argument remains unconvincing.
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Re: "Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2012, 10:41
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mehtaro wrote:
“Our research indicates that over the past six years no incidents of employee theft have been reported within ten of the companies that have been our clients. In analyzing the security practices of these ten companies, we have further learned that each of them requires its employees to wear photo identification badges while at work. In the future, therefore, we should recommend the use of such identification badges to all of our clients.”

The author concludes that it would recommend the use of identification badges to all of its future clients. The author’s line of reasoning is that the current lists of clients, 10 companies, have had no theft over the past six years. The reason for that is because they have implemented a policy such that each employee needs to wear a badge while at work. The author’s reasoning is unconvincing and fails to explain two critical areas.

To begin with, the author assumes that each employee within the ten companies is ethical and abides by the law. What if, there are employees who are not ethical and use the badge of others to enter work or access confidential areas at work. This would lead to a serious problem since the person accessing those areas would be recognized as authorized personnel in the system whereas in reality the person using it is not.

This leads to the second issue, which is verification of identification before entering the work. The author assumes that the companies have a process in place whereby each employee is being verified against their identification badge before entering the workplace. What if there is no process in place. This would lead to strangers entering the building with stolen/misplaced badges and going unrecognized.

To conclude, this argument has serious flaws that need to be addressed. To strengthen this argument, the author will need to provide additional evidence to prove that employees are ethical or that there is a process in place to verify the identification badge. A system monitor log showing the ins and outs of people would also help to analyze the unusual trends if any. Without additional evidence, the argument remains unconvincing.
2

Hi mehtaro,

This is a good first effort, with solid writing and well-done organization. However, you misunderstood the assignment, and that means your essay is fundamentally unsatisfactory to the GMAT graders.

I didn't understand the point in your second paragraph. You appear to be making several assumptions yourself--why and how would these IDs allow employees to enter confidential areas? Also, you don't actually tie ethics into the prompt. The stimulus you are responding to is solely concerned with reducing theft--who cares whether the employees are refusing to steal out of ethics or out of inconvenience!

Your second paragraph is closer to the mark--what do IDs actually do? But the author isn't making any of the assumptions you attribute to him. The author is solely assuming that IDs contribute to the low rates of theft. None of the things you bring up here are actually assumptions. You're putting words and ideas into the author's mouth.

I recommend spending time practicing CR questions. The more time you spend there, the better you will be at properly identifying gaps between the conclusion and the evidence, and the more clearly you will be able to express those gaps as assumptions, strengtheners, and weakeners.

Good luck!
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 5
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
GMAT 1: 560 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: Q0 V0
GPA: 3.75
WE: Accounting (Accounting)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 4

Re: "Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2012, 17:44
Thank you. I appreciate and agree with your feedback. Below is my second go around. Let me know what you think.

“This year, despite HomeStyle’s move to new office space, we have seen a decline in both company morale and productivity, and a corresponding increase in administrative costs. To rectify these problems, we should begin using a newly developed software package for performance appraisal and feedback. Managers will save time by simply choosing comments from a preexisting list; then the software will automatically generate feedback for the employee. The human resources department at CounterBalance, the manufacturer of the countertops we install, reports satisfaction with the package.”

The author concludes that a new software package for performance appraisal and feedback should be used by HomeStyle. To support this conclusion, the author talks about the decline in both company morale and productivity and a corresponding increase in administrative costs despite moving to a new office space. The author further provides the advantages of the software such as less time will be needed for the managers to fill out the feedback comments and that CounterBalance's human resource department reports satisfaction with the package. The author's evidence is unconvincing for two main reasons.

In the first place, the author assumes that the decline in company morale and productivity is due to the currently inefficient appraisal and feedback process. This assumption is unconvincing. There could be other factors that could decrease the company morale and productivity. One of the factors could be the move to the new office space. The new place might not be in a good location thus not giving a boost to the employees to work. On the other hand, the new place might be quite far for average employees to commute everyday and hence decreasing their productivity at work as the time to commute can be exhausting.

In the second place, the author assumes that the increase in administrative costs is due to the fact that managers spend a lot of time filling out the feedback for the employees under the current process. This assumption is unconvincing. Even though inefficient feedback process (an administrative work according to the author) can increase the administrative cost, there could be other factors driving this cost higher. The move to the new office place could be one of them. As the office place is new, administrative work such as filling, organizing etc. that took less time at the old office place could potentially consume a lot of time at the new place as the employees doing this work are not use to the new environment.

In conclusion, the author's reasoning for the change to the developed software package is unconvincing. To strengthen this argument, the author will need to provide more facts such as the move to the new place was a choice of the employees and that the only administrative work that takes place in the office is filling out feedback forms. Without these facts, the reasoning to switch to the new software package stays unconvincing.
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Re: "Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2012, 19:59
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your second paragraph is much better! This is exactly the type of reasoning you want to do.

However, your third paragraph is in more need of improvement. "the author assumes that the increase in administrative costs is due to the fact that managers spend a lot of time filling out the feedback for the employees under the current process." is not stated well, and isn't fair to the author. He doesn't assume that managers spend a "lot" of time, and he doesn't assume that the increase in cost is "due to" this time. Both claims are too extreme. You needed to say something like, "the author assumes that managers are spending enough time on reviews to have a noticeable impact on their productivity." You're thinking about the right things, but you cannot put words into the authors mouth.

Still, good improvement!
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Re: "Employee Theft... - Please review the essay. Thank you   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2012, 19:59
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