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Please, rate my essay (analysis of an argument) [#permalink]
13 Nov 2013, 03:04
Question: The following appeared in a memorandum from the director of research and development at Ready-to-Ware, a software engineering firm.
"The package of benefits and incentives that Ready-to-Ware offers to professional staff is too costly. Our quarterly profits have declined since the package was introduced two years ago, at the time of our incorporation. Moreover, the package had little positive effect, as we have had only marginal success in recruiting and training high-quality professional staff. To become more profitable again, Ready-to-Ware should, therefore, offer the reduced benefits package that was in place two years ago and use the savings to fund our current research and development initiatives."
In the preceding statement the author says that the package of benefits and incentives offered by the firm called Ready-to-Ware to professional staff is ineffective, because it is expensive and has only little positive effect. He claims that it is better to offer the reduced benefits package instead and use savings fund to finance current research and development projects. Though his claim may well have merit, the author presents a poorly reasoned argument, based on several questionable premises and assumptions. Based solely on the evidence the author offers, we cannot accept his argument as valid.
First, the argument fails to consider what was the real reason that the package of benefits and incentives has been unsuccessful. It is possible that there is another explanation for decreasing profits of the company. Maybe some market conditions have changed negatively. As for the recruitment of high-qualified professionals it is possible that supply of first class professionals in that particular field has decreased during the last two years, that is why there has not been great success in recruiting top specialists.
Second, the argument assumes that all the conditions that were present two years ago have not changed now. Nobody can have a guarantee that a package that was successful two years ago will also have a positive effect today.
For example, if the needs and interests of people change they will become more or less attracted by a particular package offered by the firm. Therefore, the reduced benefits package might be even worse today than the package of benefits and incentives.
While the author does not have several key issues in his argument's premises and assumptions, that is not to say that the entire argument is without base. The author could provide comparative analysis of costs and benefits between two different packages. This would help us two compare the effectiveness of the two packages and have a better understanding of their advantages and disadvantages. Another improvement would be to provide information what other major problems are present in the firm now. This would help to evaluate whether it is the best way to savings fund for current research. Though there are several issues with the authors reasoning at present, with research and clarification, he could improve his argument significantly.
In sum, the author's illogical argument is based on unsupported premises and unsubstantiated assumptions that render his conclusion invalid. It cannot be said without more evidence and support that the package of benefits and incentives is not effective and it is better to offer the previous package. If the author truly hopes to change his readers' minds on the issue, he would have to largely restructure his argument, fix the flaws in his logic, clearly explicate his assumptions and provide evidentiary support. Without these things, his poorly reasoned argument will likely convince few people.
Thank you very much in advance!!!