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Please rate my Analysis of an argument essay [#permalink]
09 Mar 2012, 06:22
The following appeared in a report presented for discussion at a meeting of the directors of a company that manufactures parts for heavy machinery:
“The falling revenues that the company is experiencing coincide with delays in manufacturing. These delays, in turn,are due in large part to poor planning in purchasing metals. Consider further that the manager of the department that
handles purchasing of raw materials has an excellent background in general business, psychology, and sociology,but knows little about the properties of metals. The company should, therefore, move the purchasing manager to the sales department and bring in a scientist from the research division to be manager of the purchasing department.”
Discuss how well reasoned
The argument claims that the company is experiencing falling revenues due to delays in manufacturing, which, in turn are due to poor planning in purchasing raw materials and that the manager of purchasing department is responsible for the poor planning because he has little knowledge about properties of metals. So, the company should appoint a scientist as the manager of purchasing department and should move current purchasing manager to the sales division as he is expert in general business, psychology, and sociology. The claim fails to mention several factors based on which it could be evaluated. The conclusion of the argument relies on assumptions for which there is no clear evidence. Hence, the argument is weak, unconvincing and has several flaws.
First, the argument readily assumes that sound knowledge on properties of metals is the only skill that is required in a purchasing manager for the purchasing department to flourish. For example, companies often use a bidding system to purchase raw materials from vendors. Selecting the vendor through this process requires a lot of expertise in the area of general business. One should know the current trend, pricing, and credibility of the vendor to evaluate the bids received. Manager from research department can be efficient at evaluating the quality of materials but if he is not good at doing business, he cannot create a sound plan for purchasing raw materials. This in turn results further decline of revenues. The argument could have been clearer it is explicitly stated that the manager from research team is good at managing the tasks that the current purchasing manager is good at.
Second, the argument claims that little knowledge of purchasing manager about properties of metals is the only reason for the poor planning in purchasing raw materials. This is again weak and unsupported claim as the argument does not demonstrate any correlation between knowledge on properties of raw materials and failure of purchasing manager. The argument fails to explain that having little knowledge on properties of metals is the only reason that contributed to the falling revenues. There may be several reasons for the poor planning in purchasing raw materials. If the argument had provided sufficient evidence that proves the conclusion, then the argument would have been a lot more convincing.
Finally, the argument claims that replacing purchasing manager with a scientist from research department would help the company from falling revenues. It is not at all clear what makes to prove that a scientist could be able to handle the purchasing department better than current purchasing manager. Without answers to the questions, one is left with an impression that the claim is more of a wishful thinking rather than substantive evidence.
In conclusion, the argument is flawed for above mentioned reasons and therefore unconvincing. In order to assess the merits of a certain condition, it is essential to have full knowledge of all contributing factors. Without this information, the argument remains unsubstantiated and open to debate.