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Main Purpose question - RC

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Author Message
Current Student
User avatar
Status: #TeamFuqua
Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Posts: 122
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 580 Q37 V32
GMAT 2: 570 Q36 V32
GMAT 3: 680 Q44 V40
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Main Purpose question - RC [#permalink]

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New post 21 Oct 2013, 19:46
Firms traditionally claim that they
downsize (i.e., make permanent
personnel cuts) for economic reasons,
Line laying off supposedly unnecessary staff
(5) in an attempt to become more efficient
and competitive. Organization theory
would explain this reasoning as an
example of the “economic rationality”
that it assumes underlies all organi-
(10) zational activities. There is evidence
that firms believe they are behaving
rationally whenever they downsize; yet
recent research has shown that the
actual economic effects of downsizing
(15) are often negative for firms. Thus,
organization theory cannot adequately
explain downsizing; non-economic
factors must also be considered.

One such factor is the evolution of
(20) downsizing into a powerful business
myth: managers simply believe that
downsizing is efficacious. Moreover,
downsizing nowadays is greeted
favorably by the business press; the
(25) press often refers to soaring stock
prices of downsizing firms (even though
research shows that stocks usually
rise only briefly after downsizing and
then suffer a prolonged decline).
(30) Once viewed as a sign of desperation,
downsizing is now viewed as a signal
that firms are serious about competing
in the global marketplace; such signals
are received positively by key actors—
(35) financial analysts, consultants,
shareholders—who supply firms with
vital organizing resources. Thus, even
if downsizers do not become economically
more efficient, downsizing’s mythic
(40) properties give them added prestige
in the business community, enhancing
their survival prospects.

The primary purpose of the passage is to
A. criticize firms for engaging in the practice of downsizing
B. analyze the negative economic impact of downsizing on firms
C. offer an alternative to a traditional explanation for the occurrence of downsizing
D. chronicle how perceptions of downsizing have changed over time
E. provide evidence disputing the prevalence of downsizing
Answer: C

E-gmat/GMATClubbers - For this question, the tone of the passage to me appears critical/not positive about the benefits of downsizing. Thus my answer was A, however OA is C. Could you help me think through why C is the right option? Also, any thoughts on what we should avoid while selecting an answer for similar main point/primary purpose questions?

Thanks in advance for your help!


Main Purpose question - RC   [#permalink] 21 Oct 2013, 19:46
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Main Purpose question - RC

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