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# In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the

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Senior Manager
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Updated on: 30 Aug 2019, 03:23
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GMAT® Official Guide 2019

Practice Question
Question No.:
Online test bank question number : RC00458-01 ~ RC00458-05

In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the exhortations of business journalists and academics to move their companies toward long-term, collaborative "strategic partnerships" with their external business partners (e.g., suppliers). The experts' advice comes as a natural reaction to numerous studies conducted during the past decade that compared Japanese production and supply practices with those of the rest of the world. The link between the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker and its effective management of its suppliers, for example, has led to an unquestioning belief within Western management circles in the value of strategic partnerships. Indeed, in the automobile sector all three United States manufacturers and most of their European competitors have launched programs to reduce their total number of suppliers and move toward having strategic partnerships with a few.

However, new research concerning supplier relationships in various industries demonstrates that the widespread assumption of Western managers and business consultants that Japanese firms manage their suppliers primarily through strategic partnerships is unjustified. Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed, but they also make extensive use of "market-exchange" relationships, in which either party can turn to the marketplace and shift to different business partners at will, a practice usually associated with Western manufacturers.

RC00458-01
1) The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) examining economic factors that may have contributed to the success of certain Japanese companies
(B) discussing the relative merits of strategic partnerships as compared with those of market-exchange relationship
(C) challenging the validity of a widely held assumption about how Japanese firms operate
(D) explaining why Western companies have been slow to adopt a particular practice favored by Japanese companies
(E) pointing out certain differences between Japanese and Western supplier relationships

RC00458-02
2) According to the passage, the advice referred to in the highlighted text was a response to which of the following?

(A) A recent decrease in the number of available suppliers within the United States automobile industry
(B) A debate within Western management circles during the past decade regarding the value of strategic partnerships
(C) The success of certain European automobile manufacturers that have adopted strategic partnerships
(D) An increase in demand over the past decade for automobiles made by Western manufacturers
(E) Research comparing Japanese business practices with those of other nations

RC00458-03
3) The author mentions "the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker" most probably in order to

(A) demonstrate some of the possible reasons for the success of a certain business practice
(B) cite a specific case that has convinced Western business experts of the value of a certain business practice
(C) describe specific steps taken by Western automakers that have enabled them to compete more successfully in a global market
(E) indicate the need for Western managers to change their relationships with their external business partners

4) Which of the following is most clearly an example of the practice referred to in the last sentence of the passage?

(A) A department store chain that employs a single buyer to procure all the small appliances to be sold in its stores
(B) An automobile manufacturer that has used the same supplier of a particular axle component for several years in a row
(C) A hospital that contracts only with union personnel to staff its nonmedical positions
(D) A municipal government that decides to cancel its contract with a waste disposal company and instead hire its own staff to perform that function
(E) A corporation that changes the food-service supplier for its corporate headquarters several times over a five-year period as part of a cost-cutting campaign.

RC00458-05
5) Which of the following is cited in the passage as evidence supporting the author's claim about what the new research referred to in line 20 demonstrates?

(A) The belief within Western management circles regarding the extent to which Japanese firms rely on strategic partnerships
(B) The surprising number of European and United States businesses that have strategic partnerships with their suppliers
(C) The response of Western automobile manufacturers to the advice that they adopt strategic partnerships with their suppliers
(D) The prevalence of “market-exchange” relationships between Japanese firms and their suppliers
(E) The success of a particular Japanese automobile manufacturer that favors strategic partnerships with its suppliers

Originally posted by Lucky2783 on 24 Mar 2015, 00:54.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 30 Aug 2019, 03:23, edited 9 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (340).
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2017, 17:04
7
1
Quote:
1) The passage is primarily concerned with
A. examining economic factors that may have contributed to the success of certain Japanese companies
B. discussing the relative merits of strategic partnerships as compared with those of market-exchange relationship
C. challenging the validity of a widely held assumption about how Japanese firms operate
D. explaining why Western companies have been slow to adopt a particular practice favored by Japanese companies
E. pointing out certain differences between Japanese and Western supplier relationships

SR23 wrote:
In the main idea question, the validity of the assumption is challenged only in the last paragraph. Although other options are not even related, I am not understanding how to tackle such type of questions. I had crossed this option as it only pertained to the 2nd paragraph.

As discussed in the Ultimate RC Guide for Beginners, your first job when you read an RC passage is to understand the structure of the author’s overall argument and WHY the author has written each part of the passage.

After reading the first paragraph, stop and ask yourself WHY the author has written the paragraph. In this case, the author wants us to know that Western management circles (WMCs) have recently embraced strategic partnerships because of recent studies of Japanese production and supply practices.

After reading the second paragraph, again, stop and ask yourself WHY the author has written the paragraph. Here, the author tells us that new research (i.e. newer than the studies referred to in the first paragraph) suggests that WMCs have made an unjustified assumption.

So the first paragraph tells us how recent studies affected the thinking of WMCs, and the second paragraph tells us how their thinking may have been flawed.

Was the purpose of the passage simply to tell us about the recent studies and how they impacted WMCs? No... if that were the case, the second paragraph would not be there. Even though the unjustified assumption is only explained in the second paragraph, the first paragraph sets us up for the second paragraph. We need the first paragraph to explain the reasoning of the WMCs before we can be told why their reasoning is flawed (because of the unjustified assumption).

More importantly, if you can confidently eliminate four choices on a GMAT question, then you've found your answer!
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2018, 00:35
2
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rinkumaa4 wrote:
why in the Q 3? E is wrong.

Expecting some better explanation though I choose B as my answer.

Regards

Hi Rinkumaa4

If you continue reading the last two lines of the first paragraph , you will notice that the strategy has already been adopted now so we can eliminate option E as it say they need to change their strategy. Also the second last line says "unquestioning belief within Western management circles in the value of strategic partnerships" , this clearly suggests a beleif that has made the West to change its business practice.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2018, 23:59
1
can someone help with n.5?
I'm struggling between A and D
I think what A means is the paraphrase of the "Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed,", so why not A?
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2018, 05:32
1
Rebekah wrote:
can someone help with n.5?
I'm struggling between A and D
I think what A means is the paraphrase of the "Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed,", so why not A?

Happy to help. Actually answer A is the exact opposite of the right answer. The correct answer should have been " the extent to which Japanese firms rely on strategic partnerships"...What made the answer choice wrong is the first half " The belief within Western management circles "...The belief was the exact opposite of the finding regarding the extent of reliance on strategic partnership.Thus the answer is wrong.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2020, 09:55
1
rounakkedia172 wrote:
In Q4, I dont get how E is better than D.

rounakkedia172, take a look at this thread where we've broken the question down in some detail.

Let us know if that doesn't clear things up?
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2017, 21:36
In the main idea question, the validity of the assumption is challenged only in the last paragraph. Although other options are not even related, I am not understanding how to tackle such type of questions. I had crossed this option as it only pertained to the 2nd paragraph.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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15 Oct 2018, 17:11
rajeshgmat2019 wrote:
PLease explain the question number 3

rajeshgmat2019

Quote:
3) The author mentions "the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker" most probably in order to

The Author mentions "the success of a certain well-known Japanese automaker" in para 1 to demonstrate the effectiveness of "strategic partnerships" with their external business partners (a Business practice) to the Western Management circles.

Option B resonates the same and is the correct answer.

Hope this helps!
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2018, 07:10
for easy question, we need prethink the answer before reading the answer choices. we can see a match and the job is done. but for the hard questions, prethinking helps us eliminate just 2 or 3 answer choices. for the last answer choice, POE (power of elimination) only works. POE permit us to realize the wrong answer choices which are close the the correct one. POE is powerfull in that it helps us realize the wrong answer choices which is wrong in only 1 or 2 words.

so, we prethink and we use POE. when we are stuck, think of POE.

after reading the question, the first natural action we do is prethinking the answer. but remember this works only for easy questions. if we are stuck, try to use POE.

many passages in gmat are easy to understand but their questions are hard. in this case, gmat want to test our ability to infer and this passage is called infering focused. process of infering is we need to infer an information similar to information in the correct answer from an information/a sentence in the passage. infering is not hard bur for infering fucused questions, prethinking dose not work because the infered information can not be prethought. only POE works in this case.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2019, 02:50
GMATNinja
How is D a better answer than E for Q.4?
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2019, 02:51
Debashis Roy wrote:
GMATNinja
How is D a better answer than E for Q.4?

(E) is the correct answer for question 4. Please see this post and let us know if it doesn't resolve your doubts.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2019, 23:31
Debashis Roy wrote:
GMATNinja
How is D a better answer than E for Q.4?

Old research: strategic partnership means fewer suppliers.
New Research: Japanese Change strategic partnership frequently

E stands against the new research.

Hope It Helps!
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2019, 06:16
Rebekah wrote:
can someone help with n.5?
I'm struggling between A and D
I think what A means is the paraphrase of the "Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed,", so why not A?

The question is asking for the evidence to support 'new research' but option A isn't an evidence that supports it, rather option D is the right answer.
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08 Sep 2019, 03:21
Rebekah wrote:
can someone help with n.5?
I'm struggling between A and D
I think what A means is the paraphrase of the "Not only do Japanese firms appear to conduct a far smaller proportion of their business through strategic partnerships than is commonly believed,", so why not A?

It is quite simple. Option A is the claim (almost close) that the author makes and Option D is the evidence that he uses. A is a typical GMAT style trap choice.

I hope this helps!
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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02 Feb 2020, 21:26
I chose E as answer thinking that passage discussed about supplier relationships in Japanese and Western manufacturers.
Didn't get it.
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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03 Feb 2020, 03:36
fauji wrote:
I chose E as answer thinking that passage discussed about supplier relationships in Japanese and Western manufacturers.
Didn't get it.

Official Explanation

1) The passage is primarily concerned with

Difficulty Level: Medium

Main idea question

Explanation

This question asks fr an assessment of what the passage as a whole is doing. The passage discusses how Western business managers have been following the advice of academics and journalists to pursue strategic partnerships with their suppliers. The advice is based on studies comparing Japanese production and supply practices with those of the rest of the world. Newer research, however, indicates that Japanese practices actually diﬀer from those indicated in the earlier studies and are not significantly diﬀerent from practices associated with Western manufacturers.

A. The passage is not primarily concerned with economic factors contributing to the success of Japanese companies, but rather with whether Japanese relationships with suppliers confirm to the practices recently adopted by Western business manufacturers.

B. Although the passage discusses strategic partnerships and market-exchange relationships, it does not discuss their relative merits.

C Correct. The passage does question the view promoted by several studies regarding the relationship Japanese firms have with their suppliers.

D. The passage does not indicate that Western companies have been slow to adopt any particular practice favored by Japanese companies.

E. Rather than pointing out diﬀerences between Japanese and Western supplier relationships, it actually suggests that they are more similar than generally realized.

Hope it helps
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Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the  [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2020, 17:58
In Q4, I dont get how E is better than D.
Re: In recent years, Western business managers have been heeding the   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2020, 17:58