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As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics

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As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 02 Nov 2013, 05:48
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85% (01:22) correct 15% (01:47) wrong based on 351 sessions

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As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics, a boutique financial research company is considering implementing flex-time, which enables employees to work during any time of the day from any location as long as they are present at the office from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm on weekdays. By comparison, workers currently must be in the office from 8am to 5pm. Firm management believes this change will help meet three key goals: decrease total costs, increase productivity, and improve product quality.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument of firm's management?

A) Some new costs will arise as a result of telecommuting.

B) A similar firm tried a version of flex-time and abandoned it after a month for unknown reasons.

C) The firm in question performs work that requires frequent and extensive in-person collaboration.

D) The firm in question recently lost its most experienced research analyst due to his perception of the firm's poor work-life balance.

E) The firm in question works on projects that often take weeks to complete.

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Originally posted by avohden on 01 Nov 2013, 16:51.
Last edited by dentobizz on 02 Nov 2013, 05:48, edited 1 time in total.
editing for the CR project
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Re: As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2013, 20:27
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A) Some new costs will arise as a result of telecommuting.--- Incorrect because it says new costs arises because of telecommuting. But it does not mention if total costs are decreasing. It might well so that new costs are arising but they are negligible but there are far greater benefits of flexi time.

B) A similar firm tried a version of flex-time and abandoned it after a month for unknown reasons.--- Out of scope. What a similar firm went through is none of our business.

C) The firm in question performs work that requires frequent and extensive in-person collaboration.--- CORRECT because if the work requires frequent collaboration. How will that be possible if people are working from different locations and they work at different times of the day. Even though they have to be in office for a few hours but that may not be enough for the work that required frequent and extensive in-person collaboration.

D) The firm in question recently lost its most experienced research analyst due to his perception of the firm's poor work-life balance.--- Strengthens the argument. The analyst quit because of a lack of work life balance which the flexi time brings.

E) The firm in question works on projects that often take weeks to complete.--- Out of scope. Length is nowhere mentioned in the question stem.
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Re: As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2013, 20:35
Official Explanation

Answer: C
- Firm management believes that flex-time will help meet three goals: (1) decrease total costs (2) increase productivity (3) improve product quality.

If the firm's research work requires considerable in-person collaboration, three hours a day of time together will not be sufficient and the firm's plan will lead to decreases in productivity and product quality. This will weaken the management's argument since its plan will not achieve two of its three goals.

A. The presence of new costs associated with flex-time does not weaken the argument that flex-time will decrease total cost as it may well be the case that cost savings outweigh cost increases. In other words, this answer only deals with one side of the equation (cost increases) and not the other side (cost decreases). Consequently, the answer does not enable us to conclude that the argument is weakened since it is entirely possible that on balance, costs will be reduced.

B. Since the firm abandoned it for "unknown reasons," we cannot make a conclusion about the affect of flex-time on costs, productivity, and product quality. It is entirely possible that the competitor abandoned flex-time for reasons not related to these three reasons and, therefore, for reasons not relevant to the argument of the management of the boutique research firm.

C. Since the firm in question performs work that requires frequent and in-person collaboration, it is reasonable to infer that cutting the time spent together at work down from 9 to 3 hours will have a considerable affect on productivity and quality as workers will have severely restricted access to a crucial component of their work (i.e., co-workers).

D. This answer strengthens the argument instead of weakening it. Further, using one employee's situation as an example is not the best grounds to critique an argument.

E. The duration of the project (in and of itself) has nothing to do with costs, productivity, or product quality. Given the information in the question and in this answer, an argument could be made that flex-time will increase quality (employees enjoy their work more with flex-time and work harder).
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Re: As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2017, 17:13
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As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics, a boutique financial research company is considering implementing flex-time, which enables employees to work during any time of the day from any location as long as they are present at the office from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm on weekdays. By comparison, workers currently must be in the office from 8am to 5pm. Firm management believes this change will help meet three key goals: decrease total costs, increase productivity, and improve product quality.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the argument of firm's management?

A) Some new costs will arise as a result of telecommuting.
but some cost will be saved as well.although the point cannot be takes because we need more detail than just overview to prove that the cost incured will be substancial and will be more than what the company is planning to save.

B) A similar firm tried a version of flex-time and abandoned it after a month for unknown reasons.
cannot be considered because reason is not provided.

C) The firm in question performs work that requires frequent and extensive in-person collaboration.
The correct choice as it states the reason why the plan will not work in the first place.

D) The firm in question recently lost its most experienced research analyst due to his perception of the firm's poor work-life balance.
strengthens the argument.

E) The firm in question works on projects that often take weeks to complete.
out of scope.
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Re: As a result of changes in cultural norms and dynamics   [#permalink] 15 Mar 2017, 17:13
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