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After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was

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After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Sep 2019, 03:43
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After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was company-based, with separate unions in each auto company. Most company unions played no independent role in bargaining shop-floor issues or pressing autoworkers' grievances. In a 1981 survey, for example, fewer than 1 percent of workers said they sought union assistance for work-related problems, while 43 percent said they turned to management instead. There was little to distinguish the two in any case: most union officers were foremen or middle-level managers, and the union's role was primarily one of passive support for company goals. Conflict occasionally disrupted this cooperative relationship—one company union's opposition to the productivity campaigns of the early 1980s has been cited as such a case. In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation. In the United States, the potential for such company unionism grew after 1979, but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions.

The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions. What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers. The foreman exercised discretion over job assignments, training, transfers, and promotions; worker initiative was limited to suggestions that fine-tuned a management-controlled production process. Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control. For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, routinely gave department managers only 90 percent of the resources needed for production. As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime, 10 percent of remaining resources would be removed. Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."

1. The passage is primarily concerned with
(A) contrasting the role of unions in the Japanese auto industry with the role of unions in the United
States auto industry after the Second World War
(B) describing unionism and the situation of workers in the Japanese auto industry after the Second World War
(C) providing examples of grievances of Japanese auto workers against the auto industry after the Second World War
(D) correcting a misconception about the role of the foreman in the Japanese auto industry's union system after the Second World War
(E) reasserting the traditional view of the company's role in Japanese auto workers' unions after the Second World War
OA:B


2. According to the passage, a foreman in a United States auto company differed from a foreman in a Japanese auto company in that the foreman in the United States would
(A) not have been a member of an auto workers' union
(B) have been unlikely to support the goals of company management
(C) have been able to control production processes to a large extent
(D) have experienced greater stress
(E) have experienced less conflict with workers
OA:A


3. The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to
(A) indicate a way in which the United States industry has become more like the Japanese auto industry
(B) challenge a particular misconception about worker empowerment in the Japanese auto industry
(C) illustrate the kinds of problem-solving techniques encouraged by company unions in Japan
(D) suggest an effective way of minimizing production costs in auto manufacturing
(E) provide an example of the responsibilities assumed by a foreman in the Japanese auto industry
OA:B


4. It can be inferred that the author of the passage sees which of the following as the primary advantage to companies in implementing the "OH! NO!" system?
(A) It permitted the foreman to take initiative.
(B) It minimized the effort required to produce automobiles.
(C) It ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.
(D) It allowed the foreman to control the production process.
(E) It required considerable worker empowerment to achieve managers' goals.
OA:C


Originally posted by RaviChandra on 29 Sep 2013, 22:39.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 04 Sep 2019, 03:43, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (410).
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 22:48
HI,

Can some one explain 2 & 3 answers please.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2013, 23:39
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RaviChandra wrote:
HI,

Can some one explain 2 & 3 answers please.


Hi Both are inference questions, As far i read the passage.

Question 2 : According to the passage, a foreman in a United States auto company differed from a foreman in a Japanese auto company in that the foreman in the United States would?

Quote:
US federal law prohibited US foremen from joining or leading industrial unions.
this what we can infer from the last line of 1st para.


I chose A after POE.

For

Question 3 : The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to

Quote:
The 2nd para says that though Japanese unions empowered production workers to take key decision. The actual authority was with the foremen only..
The author then gives the example.

After doing the POE, I was left with B.

A: Not relevant.
B: sounds good-hold
C: WE cannot infer this.
D: The critics says this as a stress- reject.
E: The foreman exercised discretion over job assignments, training, transfers, and promotions(stated in the passage)- eliminated.


Hope it helps :)
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Oct 2013, 09:06
RaviChandra wrote:
HI,

Can some one explain 2 & 3 answers please.

Q2: As above :-D
Q3:
"Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control.
For example, blah blah blah "

Therefore, the author introduced the "OH-NO" system in order to resolve the misconception about the Japanese workers characteristics.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jun 2017, 23:50
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2) A. not have been a member of an auto workers' union
"In the United States, the potential for such company unionism grew after 1979, but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions."



3) Here's the first sentence in paragraph 2: The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions.
We discover later in the paragraph that this is a misconception: Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control.
The system described is one example of this misconception, so the answer is B.
The last line describes the process: Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."
Pushed the process to the verge of breakdown? It seems like a stretch to refer to that process as "effective." Moreover, we get this description in the context of a paragraph that is trying to convey the notion that what people think about the Japanese model is, at best, a distortion. The point isn't to show that such a model works well.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2017, 07:54
could you please explain question-4. No where in question the cost is mentioned. I think ans should be B?
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2017, 20:46
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anmol28 wrote:
could you please explain question-4. No where in question the cost is mentioned. I think ans should be B?

Quote:
4. It can be inferred that the author of the passage sees which of the following as the primary advantage to companies in implementing the "OH! NO!" system?
(A) It permitted the foreman to take initiative.
(B) It minimized the effort required to produce automobiles.
(C) It ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.
(D) It allowed the foreman to control the production process.
(E) It required considerable worker empowerment to achieve managers' goals.

With the "OH! NO!" system, department managers are given "only 90 percent of the resources needed for production". Workers are then pushed until they meet production goals without overtime. At that point, resources are cut again, and the cycle is repeated. This system most likely involves CONSIDERABLE effort on the part of the workers and the department managers, so (B) should be eliminated. However, this approach would minimize the COSTS of production, since resources (and, thus, costs) are cut whenever production goals are met without overtime. (C) is the best option.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 15 Jul 2017, 20:37
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RaviChandra wrote:
HI,

Can some one explain 2 & 3 answers please.


Ques 2: Look at the last 2 lines of para 1 , in the passage.

The lines say " but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions. "

Ques 3, even I thought the answer was D. :p
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Originally posted by rekhabishop on 14 Jul 2017, 22:46.
Last edited by rekhabishop on 15 Jul 2017, 20:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2019, 01:46
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teaserbae wrote:
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Can you please brief the question 3 ?
There is no discussion of the misconseption in the passage

Hi teaserbae,

Para 1- state of unions in Japanese auto- did not do much good for workers; similar way of unions did not succeed in USA
Para 2- the truth of the Japanese model; overworked workers ; "management by stress."

3. The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to

The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions.
What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers. ---> This qualifies the claim made in the first statement of the second paragraph.
So, in reality, workers WERE NOT empowered to make key decisions


Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control.--> This tells us about the true state of affairs of the workers in Japan's auto industry.

For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, routinely gave department managers only 90 percent of the resources needed for production.As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime, 10 percent of remaining resources would be removed. Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress." --> an example of how random stressful situations were thrown at Japanese workers



(A) indicate a way in which the United States industry has become more like the Japanese auto industry - Incorrect - we are never told that such a system exists in US auto industry
(B) challenge a particular misconception about worker empowerment in the Japanese auto industry - Correct
(C) illustrate the kinds of problem-solving techniques encouraged by company unions in Japan - Incorrect - we are never told that OH NO system was encouraged by unions themselves but it seems that this system was forced onto them by the management
(D) suggest an effective way of minimizing production costs in auto manufacturing - Incorrect
(E) provide an example of the responsibilities assumed by a foreman in the Japanese auto industry - Incorrect


Hope this helps!! :)
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 06:09
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In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation.
I could not comprehend this sentence.What does the author mean by "out of office?", "returned"!
Though none of the questions were asked from this very part, I still want to know the meaning!
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 01:09
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kunal1295 wrote:
In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation.
I could not comprehend this sentence.What does the author mean by "out of office?", "returned"!
Though none of the questions were asked from this very part, I still want to know the meaning!

To be forced "out of office" means to be forced to give up a leadership position. In this case, "a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office" -- so, a group led by the Foreman's Association forced the people in leadership positions in the union to leave their roles.

Then, this group "returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation." When the old union leadership (the ones forced to give up their positions) were in charge, they pursued more aggressive policies against the company's productivity campaigns. The group that replaced them (the caucus led by the Foreman's Association) went back to cooperating with the company, rather than opposing it. This cooperation was pretty typical of unions in the auto industry starting after WWII.

I hope that helps!
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2019, 00:46
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kunal1295 wrote:
In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation.
I could not comprehend this sentence.What does the author mean by "out of office?", "returned"!
Though none of the questions were asked from this very part, I still want to know the meaning!


This sentence tells us about how a case of conflict,mentioned in the previous sentence, was resolved.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was   [#permalink] 20 Apr 2019, 00:46
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