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# Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding

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Manager
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Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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13 Nov 2009, 00:04
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57% (02:09) correct 43% (02:12) wrong based on 698 sessions

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Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power. This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.” The law’s application to human institutions certainly stands confirmed by history. Though the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly. Therefore, a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the speaker’s argument?

(A) Government institutions are as subject to the Iron Law of Responsibility as business institutions.

(B) Public relations programs can cause society to consider an institution socially responsible even when it is not.

(C) The power of some institutions erodes more slowly than the power of others, whether they are socially responsible or not.

(D) Since no institution is eternal, every business will eventually fail.

(E) Some businesses that have used power in socially responsible ways have lost it.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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13 Aug 2013, 21:50
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Hi anilvb. Both D and E are wrong.

Here is my explanation.

ANALYZE THE STIMULUS:

Recommendation: Avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power.
Example: This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run…..”  To support the recommendation
Conclusion: a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Assumption: There is no other ways to demonstrate socially responsible except “act responsibly” (defender assumption).

STRATEGY TO WEAKEN AN ARGUMENT:

In order to weaken the speaker’s argument, we have two approaches.
(1) Direct method: Attack the conclusion directly: You can show a business can retain its power without acting responsibly. (Just for easy questions)
(2) Indirect method: Attack the assumption: You can show the assumption is not strong. For example, if you can find a way other than “act responsibly” to demonstrate socially responsible, the conclusion is weaken. (The theory behind this strategy is that the assumption must be true for a conclusion to be true).

ANALYZE EACH ANSWER:

(A) Government institutions are as subject to the Iron Law of Responsibility as business institutions.
Wrong. Out of scope.

(B) Public relations programs can cause society to consider an institution socially responsible even when it is not.
Correct. B clearly shows that the assumption is not strong. An institution (a sub-set is a business) can find a way other than “act responsibly” to demonstrate its socially responsible. A public relation program is an example. Hence, B wekens a conclusion.

(C) The power of some institutions erodes more slowly than the power of others, whether they are socially responsible or not.
Wrong. Out of scope. We do not talk about the “speed” of power erosion.

(D) Since no institution is eternal, every business will eventually fail.
Wrong. Out of scope. “fail” differs from “erode power”. In the scope of this question, we just focus on the power errosion. A business may errode its power, but it does not fail.

(E) Some businesses that have used power in socially responsible ways have lost it.
Wrong. SHELL GAME. This is a very common trap in both GMAT and usual conversations. The trap is about NECESSARY condition vs SUFFICIENT condition
Why E is wrong? Before explaining why E is wrong, please see my example:

Peter: People who want to get 750 GMAT score must study really hard.
Mary: No, you’re wrong! I know some people who work really hard but did not get 750 GMAT score.

Do you think Mary’s statement can weaken Peter’s conclusion? Nope. Peter says if you want to get 750 GMAT, you must work hard. He does not mean if you work hard, you WILL get 750 GMAT. It means “work hard” is a necessary condition, not sufficient condition. If you do not work hard, you WILL NOT get 750 GMAT for sure. But if you work hard, it does not guarantee that you WILL get 750 GMAT.

Back to the question, the pattern is the same. The conclusion says: a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly. "Act responsibly" is only a necessary condition. It means if a business does not act responsibly, it will lose its power. But it does not mean, if a business act responsible, it WILL retain its power. E only shows some business act responsibly still loses powers. Hence, It does not weaken the conclusion.

Hope it helps.
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Joined: 28 Jul 2009
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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13 Nov 2009, 04:46
jade3 wrote:
Q) Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power. This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.” The law’s application to human institutions certainly stands confirmed by history. Though the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly. Therefore, a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the speaker’s argument?

(A) Government institutions are as subject to the Iron Law of Responsibility as business
institutions.
(B) Public relations programs can cause society to consider an institution socially responsible even when it is not.
(C) The power of some institutions erodes more slowly than the power of others, whether they are socially responsible or not.
(D) Since no institution is eternal, every business will eventually fail.
(E) Some businesses that have used power in socially responsible ways have lost it.

Hesitate between D & E.

However I like more D.
If businesses even want to remain power for ages and they act responsibly, they will fail any way and therefore lose the power.

Why not E? The conclusion states that if business want to remain power it must act responsibly. But it doesn't mean that acting responsibly is the only thing business have to perform in order to remain power. Acting responsibly is the nesessary point, but not the only.
In E it could be that business lost the power by means of any other necessary point, not acting responsibly.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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13 Nov 2009, 18:17
"B" for me. It directly hits the author's conclusion that companies need to be socially responsible to retain power.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2009, 01:55
3
jade3 wrote:
Q) Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power. This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.” The law’s application to human institutions certainly stands confirmed by history. Though the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly. Therefore, a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the speaker’s argument?

(A) Government institutions are as subject to the Iron Law of Responsibility as business
institutions.
(B) Public relations programs can cause society to consider an institution socially responsible even when it is not.
(C) The power of some institutions erodes more slowly than the power of others, whether they are socially responsible or not.
(D) Since no institution is eternal, every business will eventually fail.
(E) Some businesses that have used power in socially responsible ways have lost it.

IMO B.......... they key statement in the argument is "In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.”

Please note the the argument mentions that the only those companies which are considered by the society to be irresponsible towards the power those companies posess will tend to loose it.......
so it all depends upon the society......

So we can directly counter this statement.....If society considers an institution socially responsible even if its not then there is no meaning to to final conclusion......
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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14 Nov 2009, 17:19
I choose B. The goal is to "to retain its power as long as it can." Acting socially responsible is no gaurantee to eternal power. This throws options C, D, and E out. Choice A does not have much to do with the passage. Choice B, however, shows that there is another way to retain power, and this second option weakens the passage's assertion.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2010, 21:28
Would appreciate any detailed elaboration on the question. I still do not understand why the OA is B
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2010, 21:53
1
mirzohidjon wrote:
Would appreciate any detailed elaboration on the question. I still do not understand why the OA is B

Conclusion: Therefore, a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Act responsibly in society --> causes business in power.
X --> Y ( X causes Y)

If we prove that (1) something else causing Y .. then conclusion is weaken.

B) PR causes.. conside X1(Consider responsible even it is not) to be X ( Act responsbily in Society)

X1 causes Y. not X -> Y

So this statement weakening the argument.

Sorry, If I confused you further.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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15 May 2011, 07:40
between B and D,
B brings a third party reason where acting responsibly is not necessary.

Hence B.
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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15 May 2011, 11:21
the moment you elicit the wordings of the conclusion clearly, 'must act responsibly' blares at you in the conclusion.

if a company can have the same result that 'genuine action' has, simple by projecting that it acts responsibly, then there is no need of acting responsibly, just a need to project.

i.e. alternate cause can have the same effect.

hence B
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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23 Nov 2012, 09:11
The conclusion here is " a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly". The speaker justifies this conclusion based on certain premise(S) namely " Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power. This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.” The law’s application to human institutions certainly stands confirmed by history. Though the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly.

The conclusion should follow from the premise and that is the aspect that the test makers love to attack (does the conclusion logically follow from the premise, is it too extreme? too out of scope? contradicts the premise? etc etc ).

The argument is constructed in a way where Because of SO AND SO reason, we can conclude that A company will fail if it does not act socially responsibly etc ..We must look for an answer choice that tries to show the conclusion as wrong (and not the premise) ..

(A) This answer choice does not address the conclusion of the argument, and it hardly weakens the argument (on the contrary it can be said that it may even strengthen the argument)

(B) This directly attacks the conclusion : It does not mention anything about the premise (therefore assumes them to be correct) but attacks the conditional conclusion that is drawn based on those premise. If indeed a company can have a PR department is successive at creating an impression that it is socially responsible the company can well survive and flourish..which doesnt contradict the premise because well " the people never perceive that the company is not socially responsible and therefore it does nothing about stripping its power".

This is similar to the argument that INVESTORS will keep on investing in a stock if the company has a bright future therefore any company that has a uncertain future may well see stocks plunge... We could similarly attack this conclusion by concluding that : Any company that creates a perception that it is going to have a bright future ( even though reality may suggest otherwise) will see its stock rise (this doesn't contradict the premise ..)

(C) This does nothing to weaken the argument, as the argument still stands that those companies will die (though it may be a slow death on some occasions)

(D) This does not address the conclusion, and is out of scope ..

(E) This still does not address the premise or the conclusion.. The premise talks about "THOSE THAT DO NOT USE POWER IN A SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE WAY...WILL TEND TO LOOSE IT...SOCIETY ACTS TO REDUCE POWER...: So the main reason why socially irresponsible companies loose power is that the people take it away from them.. If it is indeed the case that many socially responsible companies LOOSE POWER, there is no mention either in the passage or the answer choice which suggests that PEOPLE HAVE taken power away from it.. It may just have been a badly run company .. or it may loose out to better competition ..

This is an extremely important WEAKEN question from the LSAT and involves CONDITIONAL REASONING.. A great question to build a solid concept on for this category of questions..
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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14 Aug 2013, 20:22
Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding social responsibility leads to the gradual erosion of power. This is Davis and Blomstrom’s Iron Law of Responsibility: “In the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it.” The law’s application to human institutions certainly stands confirmed by history. Though the “long run” may require decades or even centuries in some instances, society ultimately acts to reduce power when society thinks it is not being used responsibly. Therefore, a business that wishes to retain its power as long as it can must act responsibly.

Which one of the following statements, if true, most weakens the speaker’s argument?

(A) Government institutions are as subject to the Iron Law of Responsibility as business
institutions.
not relevant.

(B) Public relations programs can cause society to consider an institution socially responsible even when it is not.
correct. if this is true, then companies' public relations program can cause the society thinks the company is responsible. therefore those companies must not act responsibly as concluded

(C) The power of some institutions erodes more slowly than the power of others, whether they are socially responsible or not.
the rule does not mention about if the companies's power erodes slowly or fast

(D) Since no institution is eternal, every business will eventually fail.
its not elevant

(E) Some businesses that have used power in socially responsible ways have lost it.
if this is true, it cannot weaken the argument that the society will ultimately acts when society thinks those businesses do not act responsibly
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding..  [#permalink]

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20 Feb 2019, 21:54
I am confused between option C and E(As E directly contradicts the Conclusion).Therefore i chose E.
Can anyone please explain why B is the Answer
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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15 Mar 2019, 07:50
Merged duplicate posts.

As explained in the Rules to post on the Verbal Forum, please Use the Search Box Before Posting!!!
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Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding  [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2019, 07:20
Flaw in the reasoning:
Premise talks about importance of "to be SEEM responsible" but the conclusion drawn is "must ACT responsible".

Correct answer choice should exploit this discrepancy between being seen as responsible vs actually acting responsible.

Hence, Ans B
Re: Speaker: Contemporary business firms need to recognize that avoiding   [#permalink] 16 Mar 2019, 07:20
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