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Q25 to Q28: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the

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Director
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Q25 to Q28: Jon Clark's study of the effect of the [#permalink] New post 21 May 2008, 05:27
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Q25 to Q28:
Jon Clark’s study of the effect of
the modernization of a telephone
exchange on exchange maintenance
Line work and workers is a solid contribution
(5) to a debate that encompasses two
lively issues in the history and sociol16
ogy of technology: technological
determinism and social constructivism.
Clark makes the point that the char-
(10) acteristics of a technology have a
decisive influence on job skills and
work organization. Put more strongly,
technology can be a primary determinant
of social and managerial organ-
(15) ization. Clark believes this possibility
has been obscured by the recent sociological
fashion, exemplified by
Braverman’s analysis, that emphasizes
the way machinery reflects social
(20) choices. For Braverman, the shape of
a technological system is subordinate
to the manager’s desire to wrest control
of the labor process from the
workers. Technological change is
(25) construed as the outcome of negotiations
among interested parties who
seek to incorporate their own interests
into the design and configuration of the
machinery. This position represents
(30) the new mainstream called social constructivism.
The constructivists gain acceptance
by misrepresenting technological determinism:
technological determinists are
(35) supposed to believe, for example, that
machinery imposes appropriate forms
of order on society. The alternative to
constructivism, in other words, is to
view technology as existing outside
(40) society, capable of directly influencing
skills and work organization.
Clark refutes the extremes of the
constructivists by both theoretical and
empirical arguments. Theoretically he
(45) defines “technology” in terms of relationships
between social and technical
variables. Attempts to reduce the
meaning of technology to cold, hard
metal are bound to fail, for machinery
(50) is just scrap unless it is organized
functionally and supported by appropriate
systems of operation and main17
tenance. At the empirical level Clark
shows how a change at the telephone
(55) exchange from maintenance-intensive
electromechanical switches to semielectronic
switching systems altered
work tasks, skills, training opportunities,
administration, and organization of
(60) workers. Some changes Clark attributes
to the particular way management
and labor unions negotiated the introduction
of the technology, whereas
others are seen as arising from the
(65) capabilities and nature of the technology
itself. Thus Clark helps answer
the question: “When is social choice
decisive and when are the concrete
characteristics of technology more
important?”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. advocate a more positive attitude toward technological change
B. discuss the implications for employees of the modernization of a telephone
exchange
C. consider a successful challenge to the constructivist view of technological change
D. challenge the position of advocates of technological determinism
E. suggest that the social causes of technological change should be studied in real
situations
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q26:
The information in the passage suggests that Clark believes that which of the following
would be true if social constructivism had not gained widespread acceptance?
A. Businesses would be more likely to modernize without considering the social
consequences of their actions.
B. There would be greater understanding of the role played by technology in
producing social change.
C. Businesses would be less likely to understand the attitudes of employees affected
by modernization.
D. Modernization would have occurred at a slower rate.
E. Technology would have played a greater part in determining the role of business
in society.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q27:
The author of the passage uses the expression “are supposed to” in lines 34-35 primarily
in order to
A. suggest that a contention made by constructivists regarding determinists is
inaccurate
B. define the generally accepted position of determinists regarding the
implementation of technology
C. engage in speculation about the motivations of determinists
D. lend support to a comment critical of the position of determinists
E. contrast the historical position of determinists with their position regarding the
exchange modernization
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q28:
Which of the following statements about the modernization of the telephone exchange is
supported by information in the passage?
A. The new technology reduced the role of managers in labor negotiations.
B. The modernization was implemented without the consent of the employees
directly affected by it.
C. The modernization had an impact that went significantly beyond maintenance
routines.
D. Some of the maintenance workers felt victimized by the new technology.
E. The modernization gave credence to the view of advocates of social
constructivism.
Manager
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Re: RC - telephone exchange [#permalink] New post 30 May 2008, 05:47
(25) A, (26) A, (27) B, (28) C
Director
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Re: RC - telephone exchange [#permalink] New post 30 May 2008, 07:18
OA: C, B , A, C
Thanks :)
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Re: RC - telephone exchange [#permalink] New post 30 May 2008, 14:04
tough one man..i got 2/4 at this rate i will never break 40 on V
Current Student
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Joined: 28 Dec 2004
Posts: 3405
Location: New York City
Schools: Wharton'11 HBS'12
Followers: 13

Kudos [?]: 159 [0], given: 2

GMAT Tests User
Re: RC - telephone exchange [#permalink] New post 30 May 2008, 14:09
sarvali i have a request..when you post RC question please break them out in paragraphs..

it helps me to assemble the information on a per paragraph basis..as it appears on the real exam
Director
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Re: RC - telephone exchange [#permalink] New post 31 May 2008, 06:02
fresinha12 wrote:
sarvali i have a request..when you post RC question please break them out in paragraphs..

it helps me to assemble the information on a per paragraph basis..as it appears on the real exam


Sure! I will do that. I did not realize it. :)
Many thanks for participating in RC.
Re: RC - telephone exchange   [#permalink] 31 May 2008, 06:02
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