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

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New post Updated on: 21 Aug 2019, 03:26
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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



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



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



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.


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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 21 Aug 2019, 03:26, edited 3 times 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 Updated on: 17 Jul 2017, 20:20
7
Time taken 12 mins.
1. The passage is primarily concerned with
B. describing unionism and the situation of workers in the Japanese auto industry after the Second World War
Para 1 and Para 2 discuss primarily abt the unionism and the situation of workers.Although it introduces America in 1st Para, its primary focus stays on the workers in the Japanese auto industry.

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
"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. The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to
B. challenge a particular misconception about worker empowerment in the Japanese auto industry
"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 blah blah.
For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, blah blah"

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?
C. It ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.
"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".

Originally posted by JarvisR on 13 Aug 2014, 00:28.
Last edited by hazelnut on 17 Jul 2017, 20:20, edited 2 times 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 21 Jun 2015, 04:53
JarvisR:

Can you please explain on what basis did u choose option B for Question 3.
I came down to Answer D on this as i think OHH NOO isn't challenging anyhting.
Can you please help on this one
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New post 08 Jul 2015, 20:43
1B 2A 3B 4C

4 minutes 6 seconds .

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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 Jul 2015, 19:22
Anish1992 wrote:
Can anyone explain the answer to question no 3?



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 above two lines are the first two lines of the second paragraph. Author said that CLAIMS FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY. The remaining part of the paragraph explained so by giving examples.

E looks very convincing though. But if you read the first two lines of the second paragraph twice and ask yourself why the author is giving all the examples at the end, you will find that the author is trying to prove something written at the beginning of the 2nd paragraph. The author is not giving examples for E but for B.
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New post 27 Sep 2015, 00:37
manishkhare wrote:
1B 2A 3B 4C

4 minutes 6 seconds .

Regards,
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4 mins 6 seconds :shock:

This sends shivers down my spine. I did the passage in 09 mins 12 seconds. Oh my Goodness. Your reading skills are just :o WOW

I got 4 on 4 but just look at the time.

How have you been doing on the Verbal Part of the test overall ? Can you please share your GMAT Prep Verbal Scores? manishkhare
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New post 01 Oct 2015, 23:47
manishkhare wrote:
1B 2A 3B 4C

4 minutes 6 seconds .

Regards,
Manish Khare


4 min 6 sec :shock:
Man, If you take only 4 min for long passage with such difficulty level, then you must be solving short passages within 3 min, CR questions within 1.5 min and SC questions within 30 sec.
With that it is just 38-42 minutes for entire verbal section. I just wonder how much time do you take for completing your verbal section?. Can you share your techniques for reading actively with such great speed.

P.S. :- I assume that time you have mentioned is total time i.e. time to read passage + time to solve questions and not only time to solve questions. :)
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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 Aug 2016, 04:57
1
Took 9 mins 30 seconds , including 3 mins 30 seconds to read
-The author does not provide an opinion
-The author describes unionism- its meaning in Japan , its meaning in the United Staes and helps clear a misconception on Unionism on Japan

1.
Answer B

2.
"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."
Answer A

3.
"What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers."
The author uses the ―OH NO ― example to clear the misconception that workers were empowered in Japanese production units.

Answer B

4.
"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."

By using the minimum amount of resources possible, the author implies that production costs would be as low as possible. Hence option C .
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New post 18 Dec 2016, 07:13
My answer were
B
A
B
E --- I choose because the last sentence of the passage was saying "As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime", but after going through the answer choices, C is the right answer.

Taken 09 min 20 sec...
Manishkhare can you share your master technique for solving these kind of passages in less time.
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New post 23 May 2017, 20:39
In question 3 , i have opted for option C.
In the passage, it says that rather than being proactive the Japanese workers are being reactive and then the passage cites the Oh no! example. From this i understood that Japanese people adopt this mechanism to "react" to the circumstances rather than estimating the resources (count) before hand (thus refraining from being proactive). Can you please help me understand where i went wrong in this question.
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New post 25 May 2017, 18:46
3
sriharsha63 wrote:
In question 3 , i have opted for option C.
In the passage, it says that rather than being proactive the Japanese workers are being reactive and then the passage cites the Oh no! example. From this i understood that Japanese people adopt this mechanism to "react" to the circumstances rather than estimating the resources (count) before hand (thus refraining from being proactive). Can you please help me understand where i went wrong in this question.

Quote:
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

The "OH! NO!" system is not one that the production workers at Taichi Ohno proactively chose to adopt; rather it is one that the workers are forced to react to because the founder forced it upon them.

Let's break down the second paragraph: "The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions". However, "actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers." In other words, the Japanese model was often seen as one in which authority was delegated to production workers on the shop floor. The author believes this view was a misconception because, in reality, authority was delegated to the foreman and not to the workers on the shop floor. Thus, the foreman would have significant authority (job assignments, training, transfers, etc), while the authority (i.e. "initiative") of the production workers was limited to fine-tuning processes largely beyond their control. So the production workers could not take initiative and be proactive; rather, they could only react to the processes dictated by management.

Even though the Japanese model was seen as one that empowered production workers to make key decisions, in reality, production workers under the Japanese model had little control, if any, over key decisions. The "OH! NO!" system is cited as evidence in support of the author's view, which is that the Japanese model did NOT in fact empower production workers to make key decisions. Choice (B) fits with this analysis.

As for choice (C), the "OH! NO!" system does not "illustrate the kinds of problem-solving techniques encouraged by company unions in Japan". We have no idea if other companies in Japan utilized the "OH! NO!" system or similar techniques. All we know is that the system is an example of a production system that did not delegate significant authority to workers and that forced workers to be reactive rather than proactive.

I hope this helps!
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New post 09 Jul 2018, 05:51
Hi GMATNinja

For the 4th Question, the passage states : "Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement”

From this I understand that the production process was always made to work on minimum resources/ requirement i.e. the minimum effort required to continue production. Hence I chose option B - but B also mentions “automobiles” and the OH!NO! statement in the passage doesn’t mention automobiles specifically. Is this why B is wrong? I didn’t consider C because I believed 'OH! NO!’ brought down resource requirement and not production costs.
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New post 20 Jul 2018, 11:46
1
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?

DogGoesWoof wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

For the 4th Question, the passage states : "Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement”

From this I understand that the production process was always made to work on minimum resources/ requirement i.e. the minimum effort required to continue production. Hence I chose option B - but B also mentions “automobiles” and the OH!NO! statement in the passage doesn’t mention automobiles specifically. Is this why B is wrong? I didn’t consider C because I believed 'OH! NO!’ brought down resource requirement and not production costs.

The key to distinguishing between these two choices is the meaning of these words:

  • Resource, especially in a business management context, commonly means money to be spent.
  • Cost commonly means an amount of money to be spent.
  • Effort is not a synonym for money, cost, or resources. It most commonly refers to work being put in by people.

When describing the "OH! NO!" system in paragraph 2, the author describes how Ohno continuously denied managers "the resources needed for production," all "in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement." Since the system's objective is to minimize the resources required for production, we infer that the primary advantage to companies is the same: production at the lowest possible level of resources.

Quote:
B. It minimized the effort required to produce automobiles.

Under the "OH! NO!" system, a.k.a. "management by stress," the resources provided to department managers repeatedly shrank, until the production process was at the verge of breakdown. The author even tells us that the range of responsibilities given to Japanese workers was "far wider than their span of control." Under such a system, we can infer that workers would be expending more effort in order to make up for their minimized level of resources. This is why Choice (B) is wrong. It doesn't match the picture of a high-stress, low-resource environment presented by the author.

Quote:
C. It ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.

Choice (C) doesn't use the phrase "production resources." However, since we know that "resource" acts as a synonym for "money," the two phrases are basically interchangeable in this context. We keep (C) because the "OH! NO!" system was designed to find the minimum resource requirement for production (i.e. the lowest production cost).

And man, this question makes me want to crack awful Dad jokes. Bad example: I hope this explanation makes you go "OH! YEAH!"

Ugh, that was awful. Can I give myself negative kudos? :suspect
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New post 09 Aug 2018, 07:59
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mihirbhalla wrote:
Can someone help me with primary purpose question? I chose D over B? I am not able to figure why B is the answer...


mihirbhalla

In the first paragraph, the author introduces "unionism" in Japan, the role of unionism in companies, the internal workings of unionism and compares it with the unionism in United States.

In the second paragraph, the author talks about the effects of unionism on workers, foremen and how the management took advantage of unionism to squeeze worker productivity etc.

The above stated summary matches with primary purpose as stated in option B
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New post 09 Sep 2019, 23:15
1
GMATNinja wrote:
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?

DogGoesWoof wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

For the 4th Question, the passage states : "Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement”

From this I understand that the production process was always made to work on minimum resources/ requirement i.e. the minimum effort required to continue production. Hence I chose option B - but B also mentions “automobiles” and the OH!NO! statement in the passage doesn’t mention automobiles specifically. Is this why B is wrong? I didn’t consider C because I believed 'OH! NO!’ brought down resource requirement and not production costs.

The key to distinguishing between these two choices is the meaning of these words:

  • Resource, especially in a business management context, commonly means money to be spent.
  • Cost commonly means an amount of money to be spent.
  • Effort is not a synonym for money, cost, or resources. It most commonly refers to work being put in by people.


When describing the "OH! NO!" system in paragraph 2, the author describes how Ohno continuously denied managers "the resources needed for production," all "in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement." Since the system's objective is to minimize the resources required for production, we infer that the primary advantage to companies is the same: production at the lowest possible level of resources.

Quote:
B. It minimized the effort required to produce automobiles.

Under the "OH! NO!" system, a.k.a. "management by stress," the resources provided to department managers repeatedly shrank, until the production process was at the verge of breakdown. The author even tells us that the range of responsibilities given to Japanese workers was "far wider than their span of control." Under such a system, we can infer that workers would be expending more effort in order to make up for their minimized level of resources. This is why Choice (B) is wrong. It doesn't match the picture of a high-stress, low-resource environment presented by the author.

Quote:
C. It ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.

Choice (C) doesn't use the phrase "production resources." However, since we know that "resource" acts as a synonym for "money," the two phrases are basically interchangeable in this context. We keep (C) because the "OH! NO!" system was designed to find the minimum resource requirement for production (i.e. the lowest production cost).

And man, this question makes me want to crack awful Dad jokes. Bad example: I hope this explanation makes you go "OH! YEAH!"

Ugh, that was awful. Can I give myself negative kudos? :suspect



Hi GMATNinja,

"Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement”

Here, passage states that "OH! NO!" system pushed to a level close to breakdown while making efforts to keep resource requirement minimum.
However, option C states that "OH! NO!" system ensured that production costs would be as low as possible.

I believe that making an effort and ensuring the outcome are different things.

Please share your view.

Thank you.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 16:31
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Its easy to get Q3 wrong if you miss "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 author mentions the misconception (bold), then goes on to discuss the role of the foreman, role of the workers, and provides OH-NO as an example of this misconception in play.

You need to read well before OH-NO is mentioned to pickup on the structure of P2.
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New post 20 Sep 2019, 08:18
GMATNinja and others

It took me 7 mins 40 Secs to get all answers right. Is this classified as a long passage ? There are only 4 questions. Do I need to finish this under 4 mins ?

Please input will be beneficial as I am a slow reader and I read slowly to get maximum comprehension in a single pass.
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Re: After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was   [#permalink] 20 Sep 2019, 08:18
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