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# Businesses, especially those that cannot feasibly differentiate their

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17 Jul 2017, 23:37
Also, remember, no answer choice will ever DIRECTLY CONTRADICT a STATED PREMISE.

In other words:
If you think that an argument says "X" and that an answer choice EXPLICITLY says "NOT X"...
...then you are definitely wrong about at least one of those two.

Statements that weaken arguments do so by introducing NEW INFORMATION that undermines some step of the argument. They do not declare directly that the existing information is false.

So...
If you think this is a premise:
Quote:
Premise: Companies want to survive in the long run

...then, as soon as you see choice D—which explicitly posits the existence of companies with NO such intention—you MUST realize that this is not, in fact, a premise.
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17 Jul 2017, 23:50
Dear Ron,

I agree that depending on the tone of the author to understand the intent cannot be done very objectively. So one has to play by the rules and try to make a truly analytical interpretation.
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18 Jul 2017, 05:45
No critical reasoning passage will ever have a significant subjective/emotional "tone". Literally, not a single one, ever.

__

The closest you could possibly get is this: Occasionally, it might help to picture a purposely exaggerated stereotype of the person delivering the argument. (For instance, if the conclusion of the argument is that people in some profession were better trained and more knowledgeable 100 years ago, and that standards have deteriorated significantly since then... you could picture some snobby guy who wears seersucker suits and opera glasses, and who spends all his waking hours talking about "the good old days".)
By picturing such a comically exaggerated caricature of the speaker, you may be able to form a better intuition for the argument itself.

...but even if you do that, the point is that your mental picture is still COMPLETELY based on the literal words in the argument. In other words, the point is not to invent some emotional "tone" that isn't actually present in the passage; rather, the point is to create a vivid mental image to aid your intuition for the exact argument presented.
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18 Jul 2017, 19:24
RonPurewal wrote:
No critical reasoning passage will ever have a significant subjective/emotional "tone". Literally, not a single one, ever.

__

The closest you could possibly get is this: Occasionally, it might help to picture a purposely exaggerated stereotype of the person delivering the argument. (For instance, if the conclusion of the argument is that people in some profession were better trained and more knowledgeable 100 years ago, and that standards have deteriorated significantly since then... you could picture some snobby guy who wears seersucker suits and opera glasses, and who spends all his waking hours talking about "the good old days".)
By picturing such a comically exaggerated caricature of the speaker, you may be able to form a better intuition for the argument itself.

...but even if you do that, the point is that your mental picture is still COMPLETELY based on the literal words in the argument. In other words, the point is not to invent some emotional "tone" that isn't actually present in the passage; rather, the point is to create a vivid mental image to aid your intuition for the exact argument presented.

I am not saying that there is any emotion in the argument of the author. I am only saying that one can soundly infer given how the argument is presented, that the author favorably views social responsibility and long term survival of firms. For example consider that the author thinks there is nothing wrong in making short term profits and vanishing. Will the argument carry force? In fact that will contradict against the spirit of the argument.

Even conceding that the argument is about companies trying to make short terms profits only , not surviving in the long run, then the very purpose of starting this argument about social responsibility does not make sense. I believe an argument has to be seen in a holistic way and in its spirit.

So I believe that any counter to the argument that speaks against the need for long term survival, weakens the argument.
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22 Jul 2017, 10:17
"long term survival" forms the scope of the argument. The author only discussed a truth to the companies' long term survival.
----------------------------------
Likeness:

Men in the tribe X who eat lots of chilly will love women with long hair.

Something like "Men in the tribe ZUMBA who eat lots of chilly", Men in the tribe X who eat LITTLE chilly", TRANSGENDERS in the tribe X who eat lots of chilly" are all out of the scope.

Men in the tribe X who eat lots of chilly = companies' long term survival.
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22 Jul 2017, 11:53
RonPurewal wrote:
Here's a new challenge problem, for your edification and enjoyment. I'll be posting these once or twice weekly.

__

Businesses, especially those that cannot feasibly differentiate their products or functions from those of rival firms, often gain immediate advantages through conduct judged irresponsible by the surrounding society. As lucrative as such strategies might be in the short term, however, no business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible. Any firm whose irresponsible conduct goes on for long enough, or is sufficiently blatant, will eventually run afoul of public opinion. All societies act to curtail the power of those they judge to have wielded it irresponsibly; thus, once public sentiment has turned against a firm, the public itself will inevitably act to reduce that firm’s influence—plunging it eventually into irrelevance and, in turn, bankruptcy.

Each of the following considerations, if true, weakens the argument above EXCEPT

A. Misbehavior from a firm with an excellent reputation for social responsibility, because of its shock value, is much more likely to be publicly exposed than is similar misconduct on the part of a less reputable firm.
B. Most people are aware that their standard of living can be maintained only if certain firms, particularly those that produce standardized materials such as steel, are able to operate without hindrance or interruption.
C. Sufficiently shrewd and pervasive marketing can erode society’s ability to detect socially irresponsible corporate conduct.
D. The most blatant disregard for social responsibility is typically seen from firms that were founded specifically to generate short-term profits, with no expectation of long-term viability.
E. Through aggressive public-relations campaigns and radical rebranding, firms can usually distance themselves from previous public judgments.

__

Enjoy!
I'll return for discussion in the next day or two.

--R

Hello Ron,

Even after going through the OE, I have a doubt regarding option "A". I selected option A because it distinguishes between a big firm and a less known firm. Further it states that big firm will ultimately be taken aback by the public if their irresponsible behaviour comes in front of the public. How is this weakening the conclusion.

My thought: The conclusion is very generic, in that it states that for a firm to last long it should be responsible, else public will come into picture.

I think both the option and conclusion are in-line with each other.

Since the OA=D, i must be making a mistake somewhere. Please throw some light on the same.

Regards
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24 Jul 2017, 07:54
gmatexam439 wrote:
RonPurewal wrote:
Here's a new challenge problem, for your edification and enjoyment. I'll be posting these once or twice weekly.

__

Businesses, especially those that cannot feasibly differentiate their products or functions from those of rival firms, often gain immediate advantages through conduct judged irresponsible by the surrounding society. As lucrative as such strategies might be in the short term, however, no business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible. Any firm whose irresponsible conduct goes on for long enough, or is sufficiently blatant, will eventually run afoul of public opinion. All societies act to curtail the power of those they judge to have wielded it irresponsibly; thus, once public sentiment has turned against a firm, the public itself will inevitably act to reduce that firm’s influence—plunging it eventually into irrelevance and, in turn, bankruptcy.

Each of the following considerations, if true, weakens the argument above EXCEPT

A. Misbehavior from a firm with an excellent reputation for social responsibility, because of its shock value, is much more likely to be publicly exposed than is similar misconduct on the part of a less reputable firm.
B. Most people are aware that their standard of living can be maintained only if certain firms, particularly those that produce standardized materials such as steel, are able to operate without hindrance or interruption.
C. Sufficiently shrewd and pervasive marketing can erode society’s ability to detect socially irresponsible corporate conduct.
D. The most blatant disregard for social responsibility is typically seen from firms that were founded specifically to generate short-term profits, with no expectation of long-term viability.
E. Through aggressive public-relations campaigns and radical rebranding, firms can usually distance themselves from previous public judgments.

__

Enjoy!
I'll return for discussion in the next day or two.

--R

Hello Ron,

Even after going through the OE, I have a doubt regarding option "A". I selected option A because it distinguishes between a big firm and a less known firm. Further it states that big firm will ultimately be taken aback by the public if their irresponsible behaviour comes in front of the public. How is this weakening the conclusion.

My thought: The conclusion is very generic, in that it states that for a firm to last long it should be responsible, else public will come into picture.

I think both the option and conclusion are in-line with each other.

Since the OA=D, i must be making a mistake somewhere. Please throw some light on the same.

Regards

Here's where you may be making the mistake: (A) doesn't distinguish between big/well-known companies and small/lesser-known companies, it distinguishes between KNOWN socially responsible companies and KNOWN socially irresponsible companies.

Now, let's take a look at the argument: "No business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible." This argument is based on the premise that businesses that are socially irresponsible will run afoul of the public opinion.

In (A), we see that businesses who ARE socially responsible are more likely to have any misconduct publicly exposed than businesses that ARE NOT socially responsible. In other words, if a business IS socially responsible and does something bad, that's big news. If a business IS NOT socially responsible and does something bad...eh. People won't even care. Well, in order for a business to run afoul of the public opinion, it has to, um, have the public opinion in the first place. So this weakens the argument, because it suggests that socially irresponsible businesses won't necessarily fail thanks to public opinion.
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24 Jul 2017, 08:18
SarahPurewal wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Businesses, especially those that cannot feasibly differentiate their products or functions from those of rival firms, often gain immediate advantages through conduct judged irresponsible by the surrounding society. As lucrative as such strategies might be in the short term, however, no business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible. Any firm whose irresponsible conduct goes on for long enough, or is sufficiently blatant, will eventually run afoul of public opinion. All societies act to curtail the power of those they judge to have wielded it irresponsibly;thus, once public sentiment has turned against a firm, the public itself will inevitably act to reduce that firm’s influence—plunging it eventually into irrelevance and, in turn, bankruptcy.

Each of the following considerations, if true, weakens the argument above EXCEPT

A. Misbehavior from a firm with an excellent reputation for social responsibility, because of its shock value, is much more likely to be publicly exposed than is similar misconduct on the part of a less reputable firm.
B. Most people are aware that their standard of living can be maintained only if certain firms, particularly those that produce standardized materials such as steel, are able to operate without hindrance or interruption.
C. Sufficiently shrewd and pervasive marketing can erode society’s ability to detect socially irresponsible corporate conduct.
D. The most blatant disregard for social responsibility is typically seen from firms that were founded specifically to generate short-term profits, with no expectation of long-term viability.
E. Through aggressive public-relations campaigns and radical rebranding, firms can usually distance themselves from previous public judgments.

Hello Ron,

Even after going through the OE, I have a doubt regarding option "A". I selected option A because it distinguishes between a big firm and a less known firm. Further it states that big firm will ultimately be taken aback by the public if their irresponsible behaviour comes in front of the public. How is this weakening the conclusion.

My thought: The conclusion is very generic, in that it states that for a firm to last long it should be responsible, else public will come into picture.

I think both the option and conclusion are in-line with each other.

Since the OA=D, i must be making a mistake somewhere. Please throw some light on the same.

Regards

Here's where you may be making the mistake: (A) doesn't distinguish between big/well-known companies and small/lesser-known companies, it distinguishes between KNOWN socially responsible companies and KNOWN socially irresponsible companies. --"The comparison is between well known and lesser known firms and not known responsible and known irresponsible firms."

Now, let's take a look at the argument: "No business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible." This argument is based on the premise that businesses that are socially irresponsible will run afoul of the public opinion.

In (A), we see that businesses who ARE socially responsible are more likely to have any misconduct publicly exposed than businesses that ARE NOT socially responsible --"The comparison is between well known and lesser known firms". In other words, if a business IS socially responsible and does something bad, that's big news. If a business IS NOT socially responsible and does something bad...eh. People won't even care. Well, in order for a business to run afoul of the public opinion, it has to, um, have the public opinion in the first place. So this weakens the argument, because it suggests that socially irresponsible businesses won't necessarily fail thanks to public opinion.

Hello Sarah,

Does that mean, in option "A" the author is not thinking that all the firms are treated equally and the lesser known firms might escape public prosecution?

But, if we go through the highlighted part above, it says that "once the public turns against the firm, it will take some action". Option "A" essentially says that a well known firm's wrong deeds are more likely to be highlighted than a lesser known firm's.

As per the premise, if the wrong deeds of a firm are exposed, then the public will retaliate.

Combining the premise and option "A" , it means firms which do wrong deeds, no matter big/small, will face public retaliation.

I still don't find this a weakener.
Regards
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24 Jul 2017, 08:36
gmatexam439 wrote:
Option "A" essentially says that a well known firm's wrong deeds are more likely to be highlighted than a lesser known firm's.

This ^^ is not true.

The distinction in choice A is between "firms with an excellent reputation for social responsibility" and "less reputable"" firms.
Given the "reputation" mentioned in the first part, "less reputable" means that a firm IS NOT generally known as socially responsible.

Neither of these descriptions has anything to do with whether a firm is well known (= the meaning that you're somehow getting here).

__

Quote:
But, if we go through the highlighted part above, it says that "once the public turns against the firm, it will take some action".

^^ This is true... but, the main point of the statement in choice A is that the blue thing is LESS LIKELY TO HAPPEN to habitually irresponsible firms, because the public will hardly even notice those firms' misdeeds.
This choice thus weakens the argument, because the argument fundamentally depends on the idea that the blue thing will inevitably happen to any firm that misbehaves often enough and/or badly enough.
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24 Jul 2017, 09:31
gmatexam439 wrote:
SarahPurewal wrote:
gmatexam439 wrote:
Businesses, especially those that cannot feasibly differentiate their products or functions from those of rival firms, often gain immediate advantages through conduct judged irresponsible by the surrounding society. As lucrative as such strategies might be in the short term, however, no business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible. Any firm whose irresponsible conduct goes on for long enough, or is sufficiently blatant, will eventually run afoul of public opinion. All societies act to curtail the power of those they judge to have wielded it irresponsibly;thus, once public sentiment has turned against a firm, the public itself will inevitably act to reduce that firm’s influence—plunging it eventually into irrelevance and, in turn, bankruptcy.

Each of the following considerations, if true, weakens the argument above EXCEPT

A. Misbehavior from a firm with an excellent reputation for social responsibility, because of its shock value, is much more likely to be publicly exposed than is similar misconduct on the part of a less reputable firm.
B. Most people are aware that their standard of living can be maintained only if certain firms, particularly those that produce standardized materials such as steel, are able to operate without hindrance or interruption.
C. Sufficiently shrewd and pervasive marketing can erode society’s ability to detect socially irresponsible corporate conduct.
D. The most blatant disregard for social responsibility is typically seen from firms that were founded specifically to generate short-term profits, with no expectation of long-term viability.
E. Through aggressive public-relations campaigns and radical rebranding, firms can usually distance themselves from previous public judgments.

Hello Ron,

Even after going through the OE, I have a doubt regarding option "A". I selected option A because it distinguishes between a big firm and a less known firm. Further it states that big firm will ultimately be taken aback by the public if their irresponsible behaviour comes in front of the public. How is this weakening the conclusion.

My thought: The conclusion is very generic, in that it states that for a firm to last long it should be responsible, else public will come into picture.

I think both the option and conclusion are in-line with each other.

Since the OA=D, i must be making a mistake somewhere. Please throw some light on the same.

Regards

Here's where you may be making the mistake: (A) doesn't distinguish between big/well-known companies and small/lesser-known companies, it distinguishes between KNOWN socially responsible companies and KNOWN socially irresponsible companies. --"The comparison is between well known and lesser known firms and not known responsible and known irresponsible firms."

Now, let's take a look at the argument: "No business can survive in the long run unless all of its significant operations are socially responsible." This argument is based on the premise that businesses that are socially irresponsible will run afoul of the public opinion.

In (A), we see that businesses who ARE socially responsible are more likely to have any misconduct publicly exposed than businesses that ARE NOT socially responsible --"The comparison is between well known and lesser known firms". In other words, if a business IS socially responsible and does something bad, that's big news. If a business IS NOT socially responsible and does something bad...eh. People won't even care. Well, in order for a business to run afoul of the public opinion, it has to, um, have the public opinion in the first place. So this weakens the argument, because it suggests that socially irresponsible businesses won't necessarily fail thanks to public opinion.

Hello Sarah,

Does that mean, in option "A" the author is not thinking that all the firms are treated equally and the lesser known firms might escape public prosecution?

But, if we go through the highlighted part above, it says that "once the public turns against the firm, it will take some action". Option "A" essentially says that a well known firm's wrong deeds are more likely to be highlighted than a lesser known firm's.

As per the premise, if the wrong deeds of a firm are exposed, then the public will retaliate.

Combining the premise and option "A" , it means firms which do wrong deeds, no matter big/small, will face public retaliation.

I still don't find this a weakener.
Regards

Again -- (A) is not about "well-known" firms and "lesser-known" firms, it's about "known to be socially responsible" firms and "known to be not socially responsible" firms.

So let's say there are two companies, "Burger Company" and "Pizza Company." Both of these companies are equally well-known. But Burger Company is like a super socially responsible company. They're always giving back to the community by organizing fun activities, donating to charity, giving their leftover burgers to the homeless, etc. Pizza Company is NOT socially responsible, and they are known for trying to take money from charity, being mean to their employees, and stuff like that.

Based on the ORIGINAL argument, Pizza Company will eventually run afoul of the public opinion and end up bankrupt. But option (A) says MAYBE NOT -- because the public is way more interested in scandals that come out of Burger Company (because they're such goody two-shoes), and way less interested in scandals that come out of Pizza Company (because they already know Pizza Company is a bunch of jerks). This weakens the ORIGINAL argument, because if socially IRRESPONSIBLE companies can just go on doing their thing without the public even caring, they will not necessarily fail.
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24 Jul 2017, 10:36
Thanks a lot Sarah and Ron. The detailed analysis is really helpful.
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22 Sep 2017, 11:36
boiled down to A and D, but I cannot make a final choice.
A does weaken while D strengthens.

Although D seems to talk about the short-term, the logic D uses actually strengthens the conclusion of the argument. Also, the passage does not discuss short-term or long-term; .it is all about the uniqueness will make a firm become successful.

A seems out of scope because A actually addresses another cause for the bankruptcy of firms.
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