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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi

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Updated on: 17 Sep 2017, 19:14
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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

Source: LSAT June 2007

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Originally posted by creativeminddu on 19 Nov 2013, 02:31.
Last edited by broall on 17 Sep 2017, 19:14, edited 2 times in total.
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19 Feb 2014, 03:42
passage clearly states that

But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole.

Same as B,

(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business
as a whole.
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09 Apr 2014, 19:33
How to chose which one is the Main conclusion if there are two conclusions as this question does.
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10 Jan 2016, 11:01
gauravkaushik8591 wrote:
How to chose which one is the Main conclusion if there are two conclusions as this question does.

I believe you are referring to the choices B and E.

While both state the things that are true and confirmed by the passage, the Economist is more concerned with the Effects on Employees by the measures taken by the Business rather than the safety of fewer Employees.

The Entire conclusion will be logically followed by the Option B while Option E is acting like a modifier to the last sentence. It cannot be applied to the first part of argument
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16 Jan 2016, 02:37
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The main conclusion of the argument is "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole". The statement can be paraphrased as some efforts to increase productivity may backfire on the business as a whole. Remember there is only one main conclusion. You need to look for a paraphrase of that. "Not all" translates to "some". The only answer which has the paraphrase is "B".
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16 Aug 2017, 09:33
Can someone explain why option A is wrong?
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16 Aug 2017, 10:27
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Chef wrote:
Can someone explain why option A is wrong?

Employees security is just given as an example that can have negative effect on the company productivity as whole, but whole paragraph hinges on fact that efforts to increase productivity not always have positive effect ...

So B is the main conclusion...

Hope it helps.
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21 Sep 2017, 11:03
Hi GMATninja2, GMATNinja

I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.
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22 Sep 2017, 09:04
Main conclusion
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

In main conclusion question we generally look for the option which covers all the points in the passage and gives us a crux of what is written, B does that and is our answer.
I feel there are couple of important phrases that we have to pay attention to such as “But not all efforts”, “Often, attempts”.
E is wrong because it only talks about the security of retained employees which doesn’t give us the crux of the passage.
B is right because it talks about some measures (remember the phrase “not all efforts”) and business as a whole which covers both dismissed employees and retained employees.

Thank you
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23 Sep 2017, 10:47
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".
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24 Sep 2017, 03:09
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".

Hi GMATNinjaTwo,

I learnt that "Not All includes 0-99" and "some includes 1-100". so i was skeptical about the possibility of some being 100 or not all being 0. In this case they won't be equal. so i'm still confused with B.

Could you please shed some light about my queries regarding the choice D & E as well.
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24 Sep 2017, 09:01
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HKD1710 wrote:
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
HKD1710 wrote:
I knew that "SOME" is not equal to "NOT ALL", so i did not choose B.

I chose D - Because argument says "EVERY business" and this choice says "there is NO business that does NOT". I felt both are same. Please help me understand why it is not the case.

I did not choose E: because Argument says "OFTEN" attempts to increase productivity DECREASE the number of employees and that harms the sense of security. but this choice says "decrease UNDERMINES the sense of security". So this choice says with surity what argument says happens OFTEN. is this reasoning correct to dismiss choice E.

"Some" means an unspecified amount. This is practically the same as saying "not all".

Hi GMATNinjaTwo,

I learnt that "Not All includes 0-99" and "some includes 1-100". so i was skeptical about the possibility of some being 100 or not all being 0. In this case they won't be equal. so i'm still confused with B.

Could you please shed some light about my queries regarding the choice D & E as well.

Yes, there is a subtle difference between "not all efforts are beneficial" and "some efforts are beneficial", but the answer choice says, "some efforts are NOT beneficial".

For example:

• There are several treatments for cancer.
• Not all treatments are helpful.
• Since we know that there is a nonzero number of treatments and not all of them are helpful, we also know that SOME of those treatments are NOT helpful.

Yes, there is a subtle difference between "some" and "not all", but "not all" refers to efforts that are beneficial while "some" refers to efforts that are not beneficial.

As for choice (D), this might be an accurate statement, but does it reflect the main conclusion of the passage? Does the author want you to walk away with the knowledge that all businesses strive to improve productivity? No... this is simply information on which the rest of the argument is based:

• Every business strives to improve productivity.
• Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.
• In conclusion, "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole."

This is exactly what GMATNinja is talking about in the "How structural thinking can help" section of the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners.

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement, but it doesn't represent the main conclusion. Rather, it is evidence in support of the main conclusion. Yes, to your point, there is a subtle difference between choice (E) and the statement in the passage, but even if choice (E) were worded exactly the same as the information in the passage, it would still not represent the author's main conclusion.

In general, don't get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest! Sometimes we can focus so much on little technical details that we lose track of the author's main point and the importance of the author's word choices. So make sure to step back and ask yourself, "What is the author trying to say here?". Refer to the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners for more tips.

I hope that helps!
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04 Dec 2017, 10:44
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole. -This is too specific. The main point is that "not all efforts are beneficial as a whole".
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole. -Correct
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole. -Out of scope
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity. -This is the premise and not the conclusion of the passage
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees. -This statement supports the main conclusion
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24 May 2018, 08:26
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Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.-- a bit specific
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole. -- looks good and encapsulates the Crux of the argument
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.-- out of scope
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.-- out of scope
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.-- irrelevant

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03 Aug 2018, 08:38
generis GMATNinja KarishmaB gmatexam439 nightblade354 GMATNinjaTwo

I loved this argument since it is so practical in real world
How many times we have seen a MNC firing off bottom non-performers
in pyramid without understanding the reason for their act. A typical case
of 'Shareholder supremacy' in which numbers come before people, unfortunately.

I have a strong affinity towards (E)

Quote:
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

E: Every business want to be more profitable
(y) So that business can earn maximum value for their owners and this is how a business survives in long run.
The key word BUT next presents a contrast : not all efforts taken by company management
He further explains this by chain of events:
attempts to increase productivity -> decrease the number of employees -> harms (a) the dismissed employees and (b)sense of security of the retained employees
So in an attempt to boost productivity, some people are laid off and those who are retained are fearing what will happen to them

seems which is incorrect and I would prefer a coma + verb-ing modifier here

Quote:
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

Let me rephrase this as:
The author of the passage would most likely agree with:

Let me bring relevant part of the passage and (E) side by side:

Quote:
Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Quote:
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

(E) is simply paraphrasing the last sentence of passage. I can't understand why this can not be the main point of author.
On a detailed introspection, can I say (E) is incorrect since as per passage attempts to increase the productivity damages sense of security in retained employees
and as per (E) mass layoffs damage sense of security in retained employees? Is my PoE convincing enough?
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03 Aug 2018, 08:58
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generis GMATNinja KarishmaB gmatexam439 nightblade354 GMATNinjaTwo

I loved this argument since it is so practical in real world
How many times we have seen a MNC firing off bottom non-performers
in pyramid without understanding the reason for their act. A typical case
of 'Shareholder supremacy' in which numbers come before people, unfortunately.

I have a strong affinity towards (E)

Quote:
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

E: Every business want to be more profitable
(y) So that business can earn maximum value for their owners and this is how a business survives in long run.
The key word BUT next presents a contrast : not all efforts taken by company management
He further explains this by chain of events:
attempts to increase productivity -> decrease the number of employees -> harms (a) the dismissed employees and (b)sense of security of the retained employees
So in an attempt to boost productivity, some people are laid off and those who are retained are fearing what will happen to them

seems which is incorrect and I would prefer a coma + verb-ing modifier here

Quote:
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

Let me rephrase this as:
The author of the passage would most likely agree with:

Let me bring relevant part of the passage and (E) side by side:

Quote:
Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Quote:
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

(E) is simply paraphrasing the last sentence of passage. I can't understand why this can not be the main point of author.
On a detailed introspection, can I say (E) is incorrect since as per passage attempts to increase the productivity damages sense of security in retained employees
and as per (E) mass layoffs damage sense of security in retained employees? Is my PoE convincing enough?

Hi adkikani, have you tried reading this earlier post? See if that helps; if not, let us know!
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03 Aug 2018, 12:59
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generis GMATNinja KarishmaB gmatexam439 nightblade354 GMATNinjaTwo

I loved this argument since it is so practical in real world
How many times we have seen a MNC firing off bottom non-performers in pyramid without understanding the reason for their act. A typical case
of 'Shareholder supremacy' in which numbers come before people, unfortunately.

I have a strong affinity towards (E)
Quote:
Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.
E: Every business want to be more profitable
(y) So that business can earn maximum value for their owners and this is how a business survives in long run.
The key word BUT next presents a contrast : not all[ efforts taken by company management
He further explains this by chain of events:
attempts to increase productivity -> decrease the number of employees -> harms (a) the dismissed employees and (b)sense of security of the retained employees
So in an attempt to boost productivity, some people are laid off and those who are retained are fearing what will happen to them
Quote:
Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?
Let me rephrase this as:
The author of the passage would most likely agree with:

Let me bring relevant part of the passage and (E) side by side:
Quote:
Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Quote:
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.
(E) is simply paraphrasing the last sentence of passage. I can't understand why this can not be the main point of author.
On a detailed introspection, can I say (E) is incorrect since as per passage attempts to increase the productivity damages sense of security in retained employees
and as per (E) mass layoffs damage sense of security in retained employees? Is my PoE convincing enough?

adkikani , GMATninja2 's analysis of E is characteristically spot on. You wrote
Quote:
(E) is simply paraphrasing the last sentence of passage. I can't understand why this cannot be the main point of author.

Use the "trying to prove" test below. See what happens.

To express the main conclusion of the argument (per the prompt, because I am uneasy about the "most likely to agree" rewrite), we must paraphrase the "biggest" argument. (Among other things, premises can be opinions that are often mini-arguments.)

In this question, as GMATninja2 points out, answer E is accurate. I suspect that option A was an even greater temptation than E. Answer A is accurate. Neither option paraphrases the main argument.

Re "relevant part": are you sure?

In LR and CR, the conclusion does not have to be the last sentence in the paragraph. The conclusion is what the author is trying to prove.

Try this test on each sentence in the prompt: Is this statement what the author is trying to prove?

Another test: the statement whose strength depends on the other statements is the conclusion.

We have statements W, X, and Y. Because they are derived from premises, conclusions are distinctively supported by other statements in the prompt. The conclusion is X or Y.

If X is supported by Y, then X is the conclusion.
If X supports Y, then Y is the conclusion.

No. Because you have the wrong conclusion, although the distinction is clever, it is not the reason to reject E.

Having read YOUR spoiler (with which I agree), I think you might have been predisposed towards a focus on employees.

I can see how anyone would think that E or A were the answer. Both answers, however, contain the same mistake, perfectly explained by GMATninja2 here:
Quote:
In general, don't get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest! Sometimes we can focus so much on little technical details that we lose track of the author's main point and the importance of the author's word choices.

I hope these replies will help
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05 Aug 2018, 00:31
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Every business strives to increase its productivity, for this increases profits for the owners and the likelihood that the business will survive. But not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole. Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.

Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main conclusion of the economist’s argument?

(A) If an action taken to secure the survival of a business fails to enhance the welfare of the business’s employees, that action cannot be good for the business as a whole.
(B) Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(C) Only if the employees of a business are also its owners will the interests of the employees and owners coincide, enabling measures that will be beneficial to the business as a whole.
(D) There is no business that does not make efforts to increase its productivity.
(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees

Hi adkikani, you can easily remove your affinity towards E, by reading carefully the extract in red I marked above. or here --> -

Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees harms the sense of security of the retained employees.

Notice the word “often” often doesn’t mean always. If “often” is mentioned then it means there are cases when decreasing employees helps business.

Now examine E option below. The E option is not accurate, it is generic. Why? Because it just says (in general) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

(E) Decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

if option E stated following
Sometimes decreasing the number of employees in a business undermines the sense of security of retained employees.

Then I would have affinity towards E too . Since word "sometimes" gives "almost" accurate information and almost matches the argument but not completely.

have a great weekend
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05 Aug 2018, 01:58
Quote:
Yes, there is a subtle difference between "some" and "not all", but "not all" refers to efforts that are beneficial while "some" refers to efforts that are not beneficial.

As for choice (D), this might be an accurate statement, but does it reflect the main conclusion of the passage? Does the author want you to walk away with the knowledge that all businesses strive to improve productivity? No... this is simply information on which the rest of the argument is based:

• Every business strives to improve productivity.
• Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.
• In conclusion, "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole."

This is exactly what GMATNinja is talking about in the "How structural thinking can help" section of the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners.

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement, but it doesn't represent the main conclusion. Rather, it is evidence in support of the main conclusion. Yes, to your point, there is a subtle difference between choice (E) and the statement in the passage, but even if choice (E) were worded exactly the same as the information in the passage, it would still not represent the author's main conclusion.

In general, don't get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest! Sometimes we can focus so much on little technical details that we lose track of the author's main point and the importance of the author's word choices. So make sure to step back and ask yourself, "What is the author trying to say here?". Refer to the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners for more tips.

I hope that helps!

hello GMATNinjaTwo, i would like to draw your attention to the highlighed part in your post

In my post to adkikani i proved that E option doesnt represent accurate information based on the facts provided in the argument.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/economist-ev ... l#p2107204

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement.

How can E be ACCURATE statement ? please proove that i am wrong.

have an awesome weekend,

thank you,

D
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10 Aug 2018, 13:53
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dave13 wrote:
Quote:
Yes, there is a subtle difference between "some" and "not all", but "not all" refers to efforts that are beneficial while "some" refers to efforts that are not beneficial.

As for choice (D), this might be an accurate statement, but does it reflect the main conclusion of the passage? Does the author want you to walk away with the knowledge that all businesses strive to improve productivity? No... this is simply information on which the rest of the argument is based:

• Every business strives to improve productivity.
• Often, attempts to increase productivity decrease the number of employees, which clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees.
• In conclusion, "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole."

This is exactly what GMATNinja is talking about in the "How structural thinking can help" section of the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners.

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement, but it doesn't represent the main conclusion. Rather, it is evidence in support of the main conclusion. Yes, to your point, there is a subtle difference between choice (E) and the statement in the passage, but even if choice (E) were worded exactly the same as the information in the passage, it would still not represent the author's main conclusion.

In general, don't get lost in the trees and lose sight of the forest! Sometimes we can focus so much on little technical details that we lose track of the author's main point and the importance of the author's word choices. So make sure to step back and ask yourself, "What is the author trying to say here?". Refer to the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners for more tips.

I hope that helps!

hello GMATNinjaTwo, i would like to draw your attention to the highlighed part in your post

In my post to adkikani i proved that E option doesnt represent accurate information based on the facts provided in the argument.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/economist-ev ... l#p2107204

Similarly, choice (E) is an accurate statement.

How can E be ACCURATE statement ? please proove that i am wrong.

have an awesome weekend,

thank you,

D

dave13, I'm glad to see that you are paying attention to the details! But I would like to respectfully disagree with you

Before I do, keep in mind that whether (E) is 100% accurate is beside the point. Even if choice (E) literally copied the sentence beginning with "Often...," it still would not represent the main conclusion of the passage. Choice (B) is a better answer regardless.

Back to your point, we are told that attempts to increase productivity OFTEN decrease the number of employees. Period. The author does NOT then say that a decrease in the number of employees OFTEN harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees. Instead, the author says that a DECREASE in the number of employees "clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security of the retained employees."

Yes, attempts to increase productivity do not always decrease the number of employees. But when they do, that decrease clearly harms the dismissed employees as well as the sense of security..."

So I'll stand by my point that (E) is accurate. However, it does not represent the main conclusion, which is that "not all efforts to increase productivity are beneficial to the business as a whole." -- or, as reworded in choice (B), "Some measures taken by a business to increase productivity fail to be beneficial to the business as a whole." (refer to this post if you are confused about that rewording).

I hope that helps!
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Re: Economist: Every business strives to increase its productivi &nbs [#permalink] 10 Aug 2018, 13:53

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