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# Several internet-based companies that use open-source

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Manager
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Several internet-based companies that use open-source [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2010, 09:18
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Several internet-based companies that use open-source software for their day-to-day operations have been surprised at the degree to which volunteer contributions increase productivity. At the same time, the overall profits of most of these companies have increased, since a much smaller percentage of overall revenue per working hour must be directed toward salaries. Beginning internet companies should imitate this successful model by hiring only a small core staff and leaving the rest of the tasks to volunteers.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument that a beginning internet company can best increase its profitability by relying on volunteer labor?

(A) Internet companies can also increase profitability by paying lower salaries to more full-time employees.
(B) Cash flow in internet companies is very different from cash flow in traditional companies, so that not all bookkeeping procedures apply.
(C) Internet companies often perform tasks that are highly specialized, and volunteers are not always able to complete necessary portions of projects.
(D) The average number of hours worked by a volunteer at an internet company is already greater than the average number worked by volunteers at traditional companies.
(E) Volunteers often hold other full-time jobs, making their actual financial contributions to internet companies difficult to calculate.

I'm not convinced by the OA or explanation.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Situation:In order to increase profits, beginning internet companies should hire few staff and rely on volunteers for the bulk of tasks.

Reasoning:Which most clearly shows a problem with relying on volunteer labor? The advantages of volunteer labor come in terms of both productivity and profit. If, however, the presence of volunteers can be shown to actually damage one of these goals, then the soundness of the model proposed by the plan will be seriously undermined.

1. This option does not speak directly to the question of whether volunteers are best for a beginning company.
2. Bookkeeping procedures are not mentioned in the passage; this statement is out of scope.
3. This option directly undermines the suggestion that volunteers are good for all starting internet businesses by describing a situation in which volunteers could actually undermine productivity.
4. The average number of hours worked by volunteers has no impact on the soundness of the plan. Also, traditional companies are not mentioned in the passage.
5. The passage is concerned primarily with the productivity contributions of volunteers, which translate into financial contributions. The fact that volunteers hold other jobs would have more impact on the volunteers themselves than it would on the finances of the internet company.

My take: The article gives you as a fact that volunteers help improve productivity at these companies. Option (C) says basically that volunteers can't do everything - but the companies aren't asking them to. Even if C is true, and there are specialized tasks that volunteers can't do, wouldn't the increased productivity from the volunteers allow the rest of the paid staff to focus more on these specialized tasks? Seems to me like even if C were true, it wouldn't negate the argument.

I went with (E), because if it's true, then it means that volunteers will have to prioritize their time between their full-time jobs and the internet company, causing them to do less volunteer work, and also because if their financial contributions are difficult to calculate, then maybe the initial assumption about their financial impact is inaccurate. I'm not convinced that it's the best answer, but I don't like C either. I'd love to hear some discussion.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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02 Dec 2010, 10:17
1
KUDOS
this is indeed a great question..
conclusion:: volunteers are the best bet for the internet companies to increase there profits...

a) gives an alternate way of increasing profit but it nowhere says that it is the best method , for all we know the method suggested may be better or worse than hiring more volunteers .
b)out of scope..
c)if volunteers cannot complete the work because of they lack skills then they certainly are not the best bet to increase profits. looks like an ans
d)start up's vs traditional companies ..does not hit the conclusion
e)valuation is diffcult for the work done by volunteer

so it comes down to a vs c
ans c looks like the winner..
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02 Dec 2010, 13:31
I got C.

Conclusion is Beg. internet companies should use the open source model to increase profits by having a skeleton staff and having volunteers make up the gap for that skeleton staff.

C would shows internet companies have specialised tasks that volunteers wouldn't normally have the skills for. So it negates the premise that volunteer workers would lead to higher profitability, since internet companies have need a workforce that have a specialised skillset not possessed by volunteers.

TehJay wrote:
Several internet-based companies that use open-source software for their day-to-day operations have been surprised at the degree to which volunteer contributions increase productivity. At the same time, the overall profits of most of these companies have increased, since a much smaller percentage of overall revenue per working hour must be directed toward salaries. Beginning internet companies should imitate this successful model by hiring only a small core staff and leaving the rest of the tasks to volunteers.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument that a beginning internet company can best increase its profitability by relying on volunteer labor?

(A) Internet companies can also increase profitability by paying lower salaries to more full-time employees.
(B) Cash flow in internet companies is very different from cash flow in traditional companies, so that not all bookkeeping procedures apply.
(C) Internet companies often perform tasks that are highly specialized, and volunteers are not always able to complete necessary portions of projects.
(D) The average number of hours worked by a volunteer at an internet company is already greater than the average number worked by volunteers at traditional companies.
(E) Volunteers often hold other full-time jobs, making their actual financial contributions to internet companies difficult to calculate.

I'm not convinced by the OA or explanation.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Situation:In order to increase profits, beginning internet companies should hire few staff and rely on volunteers for the bulk of tasks.

Reasoning:Which most clearly shows a problem with relying on volunteer labor? The advantages of volunteer labor come in terms of both productivity and profit. If, however, the presence of volunteers can be shown to actually damage one of these goals, then the soundness of the model proposed by the plan will be seriously undermined.

1. This option does not speak directly to the question of whether volunteers are best for a beginning company.
2. Bookkeeping procedures are not mentioned in the passage; this statement is out of scope.
3. This option directly undermines the suggestion that volunteers are good for all starting internet businesses by describing a situation in which volunteers could actually undermine productivity.
4. The average number of hours worked by volunteers has no impact on the soundness of the plan. Also, traditional companies are not mentioned in the passage.
5. The passage is concerned primarily with the productivity contributions of volunteers, which translate into financial contributions. The fact that volunteers hold other jobs would have more impact on the volunteers themselves than it would on the finances of the internet company.

My take: The article gives you as a fact that volunteers help improve productivity at these companies. Option (C) says basically that volunteers can't do everything - but the companies aren't asking them to. Even if C is true, and there are specialized tasks that volunteers can't do, wouldn't the increased productivity from the volunteers allow the rest of the paid staff to focus more on these specialized tasks? Seems to me like even if C were true, it wouldn't negate the argument.

I went with (E), because if it's true, then it means that volunteers will have to prioritize their time between their full-time jobs and the internet company, causing them to do less volunteer work, and also because if their financial contributions are difficult to calculate, then maybe the initial assumption about their financial impact is inaccurate. I'm not convinced that it's the best answer, but I don't like C either. I'd love to hear some discussion.
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03 Dec 2010, 20:55
Between A and C.

A provides an alternate point.Negating it will not make the argument strong.

However, Negating C makes the argument strong. Hence it a better option.

Hence C prevails.
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03 Dec 2010, 21:25
Need to consider options where comparison is between volunteers and skilled emp, and choosing volunteers may not be a good option, which may lead to loss to company.

Best option C.
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09 Dec 2010, 09:18
TehJay wrote:
Several internet-based companies that use open-source software for their day-to-day operations have been surprised at the degree to which volunteer contributions increase productivity. At the same time, the overall profits of most of these companies have increased, since a much smaller percentage of overall revenue per working hour must be directed toward salaries. Beginning internet companies should imitate this successful model by hiring only a small core staff and leaving the rest of the tasks to volunteers.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument that a beginning internet company can best increase its profitability by relying on volunteer labor?

(A) Internet companies can also increase profitability by paying lower salaries to more full-time employees.
(B) Cash flow in internet companies is very different from cash flow in traditional companies, so that not all bookkeeping procedures apply.
(C) Internet companies often perform tasks that are highly specialized, and volunteers are not always able to complete necessary portions of projects.
(D) The average number of hours worked by a volunteer at an internet company is already greater than the average number worked by volunteers at traditional companies.
(E) Volunteers often hold other full-time jobs, making their actual financial contributions to internet companies difficult to calculate.

A - doesn't defeat the purpose of the conclusion, which says, "Beginning internet companies should imitate this successful model by hiring only a small core staff and leaving the rest of the tasks to volunteers.", making the option irrelevant.
B - We are talking about internet companies not traditional companies so this option is irrelevant.
C - If the volunteers are not able to perform the tasks required completely and their performances on the job are not up to par then it defeats the purpose of start up internet comps to get volunteers (ie it attacks the conclusion).
D - this supports the conclusion.
E - The volunteer's financial contributions to I.C is not relevant to weakening the argument.
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09 Dec 2010, 09:32
Agree with C.

@amit2k9 Never have seen assumption negation technique used to eliminate answers for weaken questions!
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Re: Several internet-based companies that use open-source [#permalink]

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01 Jan 2014, 12:05
Several internet-based companies that use open-source software for their day-to-day operations have been surprised at the degree to which volunteer contributions increase productivity. At the same time, the overall profits of most of these companies have increased, since a much smaller percentage of overall revenue per working hour must be directed toward salaries. Beginning internet companies should imitate this successful model by hiring only a small core staff and leaving the rest of the tasks to volunteers.
The argument above that internet companies will increase profits by hiring fewer full-time employees is based on which of the following assumptions?

1) Internet companies that use open-source software are better suited to function efficiently with only a small core staff than traditional companies.

2) The amount of administrative work to be performed in internet companies is small enough that it can reasonably be completed by fewer full-time employees.

3) Full-time employees and volunteers will have different levels of access to most projects undertaken by the company.

4) Internet companies will hire more full-time employees as they become more profitable due to volunteer contributions.

5) Companies that rely on both full-time employees and volunteer labor increase their overall revenue per working hour.

This is one of the VA club test problem. I don't agree with OA.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OA : 2)
There is no premise which says "administrative work" has to be done by full time employees

Can somebody explain?
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Re: Several internet-based companies that use open-source [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2015, 20:52
Explanation for choice C

Type weaken

Conclusion: Beginning internet companies imitate the successful model => more profitable.

Assumption: beginning internet companies is comparable to that of internet -based companies.

Break the assumption: tasks in begining internet company require more skillful working abilities from core staffs.
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Re: Several internet-based companies that use open-source [#permalink]

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29 May 2016, 12:28
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Re: Several internet-based companies that use open-source   [#permalink] 29 May 2016, 12:28
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