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The following appeared in the editorial section of a corporate newsletter: “The common notion that workers are generally apathetic about management issues is false, or at least outdated: a recently published survey indicates that 79 percent of the nearly 1,200 workers who responded to survey questionnaires expressed a high level of interest in the topics of corporate restructuring and redesign of benefits programs.”
The given argument that workers are interested in the restructuring of management in the workplace is flawed. Specificity in all facets of the argument is missing, thus causing the reader or listener to not believe what is said or written.
First, the argument states that a “recently published survey” is the deciding factor for the desire for change in the workplace. The unknown factor is where the survey is published. A truly dedicated high school student could have surveyed 1200 workers around his or her high school and then published the results in the school newspaper, or the survey could be a part of an Op-Ed in the New York Times. Understandably, there would be more credibility if the survey were in the New York Times rather than a school newspaper.
Additionally, the argument fails to mention who the 1200 workers are. Within companies, people’s desires will vary based on what rung of the ladder they are at. An entry level secretary or mail clerk will most likely be worried about restructuring benefits such as health insurance. Meanwhile, a high level manager (managers could still be interested in change in management within their own company) could be worried about restructuring the management system in order for there to be a more trustworthy and pleasing work environment for everyone.
Finally, solely mentioning “corporate restructuring” and “redesign of benefit programs” is too general of terms to use in today’s complex, mega-corporate world. People surveyed will undoubtedly be apprehensive to recommend “corporate restructuring,” since most likely that will end in layoffs, pay cuts, or other modifications that benefit the company, but not the employer. Also, it is strange for a survey to reveal that “corporate restructuring” and “redesign of benefit programs” are of the highest importance. The previous paragraph mentions how the argument fails to address who was surveyed. Mentioning “corporate restructuring” implies that upper level employees were surveyed and found interest in a big picture issue, while “redesign of benefit programs” suggests that lower level employees were surveyed with the result being interest in a more focused aspect.
Specific information will make the argument more believable. It should mention when the survey was published, and where it was published. The survey also needs more attention. The 1200 workers should be categorized based on their position in their company to see what trends may occur. Putting more detail in the survey will thus clear up who has a high interest in issues, including those of “corporate restructuring” and “redesign of benefits.” It is too general to be of any purpose as it currently stands.
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03 Apr 2014, 08:39