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To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment

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To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Apr 2019, 09:44
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61% (00:56) correct 39% (01:12) wrong

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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 141, Date : 12-APR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment in a factory, shop, or office and make sure that examples of energy and efficiency are numerous enough to catch employee attention and establish an atmosphere of industry. In the workplace, there are instances in which it would be in the mutual interest of the employer and the employees to increase the speed of work, but conditions may limit or forbid the use of pace-setters. In construction work and in some of the industries, where there are minute subdivisions of operations and continuity of processes, this method of increasing efficiency is very commonly applied with the use of time cards and software. In many factories, however, such an effort to “speed up” production might stir resentment, even among the workers paid at a fixed rate for each unit produced or action performed, and have an effect exactly opposite to that desired. The alternative, of course, is for the employer to secure unconscious pace setting by providing incentives for the naturally ambitious men and women in the way of a premium or bonus system or other reward for above-average efficiency.

Accordingly, to take advantage of the benefits of conscious or voluntary imitation, workers must be provided with examples that appeal to them as admirable and inspire the wish to emulate them. A common application of this principle is seen in the choice of department heads, foremen, and other bosses. Invariably these people win promotion by industry, skill, and efficiency greater than that displayed by their direct peers, or by mastery of their skills that enables them to show their less efficient peers how any and all operations should be conducted. This focusing of attention upon individuals worthy of imitation has been carried much farther by various companies. Some create weekly or monthly papers published primarily for circulation within the organization to record every incident reflecting unusual skill, initiative, or personal power in an individual member of the organization. A big order closed, a difficult contract secured, a complex or delicate operation performed in less than the usual time, a new personal record in production, the invention of an unproved method or machine—whatever the achievement, it is described and glorified, its perpetrator praised and held up for emulation. This, indeed, is one of the methods by which the larger sales organizations have obtained remarkable results.

1. The author of the passage mentions a “big order closed, a difficult contract secured, a complex or delicate operation performed in less than the usual time,” (Highlighted) in order to

A. describe a list of rewards companies frequently offer high-achieving employees.
B. list some examples through which companies take unconscious incentivizing to the next level.
C. offer praise to companies for incentivizing high productivity.
D. further incentivize workers to achieve maximum productivity.
E. reflect upon the unusual skill, initiative, or personal power in the individual members of certain organizations.

we can say that the author mentions these phrases to list out the activities included in companies internal newsletters to motivate the workers.
A. Incorrect: Out of Context

These items are not rewards but rather the achievements themselves.
B. Correct

his list appears in the middle of the second paragraph. The preceding sentence mentions how companies create internal newsletters to praise efficient work and spotlight the workers. The sentence describes each item as an "achievement" to be
"described and glorified."
C. Incorrect: Out of Context

The author objectively describes these items as things included in certain companies internal publications to incentivize workers.
D. Incorrect: Out of Context

This may be the companies' aim in publishing internal newsletters, but this is not the AUTHOR's reason for listing these achievements.
E. Incorrect: Out of Context

While the content of the newsletters does reflect upon unusual skill, author’s purpose of reflecting this is not to discuss the achievement but to illustrate how companies take unconscious encouragement to the next level.


2. The author is primarily concerned with

A. describing situations in which company policies do not always lead to more productivity.
B. incentivizing workers in order to achieve maximum product output.
C. presenting two ways using which the companies can influence pace-setting and explaining one in greater depth
D. suggesting changes to company structure and policy that curtail efficiency.
E. explaining how companies can best inspire sub-producing workers to achieve their best results.

A. Incorrect: Partial Scope

The first paragraph does mention this point briefly in its discussion of pace-setting, but the second paragraph doesn't explore the lack of productivity. Overall, the passage is concerned with what companies are successfully doing, not their missteps.

B.Incorrect: Out of Context

This is the goal of the companies described in the passage, not the goal of the passage itself. The author seems to be giving advice to companies, not to workers.
C. Correct

This is similar to what we came up in main point analysis.
D. Incorrect: Out of Context

The author describes two ways of maximizing profit. He does not compare these two methods with older methods, nor does he/she complain that current policies are ineffective and curtail efficiency. The tone of the passage is not critical or negative.

E.Incorrect: Partial scope

This is the purpose of the second paragraph, not the entire passage. The first paragraph focuses on conscious pace-setting and the instances in which it can/cannot lead to more profits.


3. With which of the following statements would the author of the passage NOT agree?

A. Utilizing time cards and software can sometimes lead to less profitability.
B. Corporations looking to maximize profits should promote employees based on talent and skill rather than seniority.
C. There is some disparity between the methods companies use to promote good examples to their employees.
D. In order to maximize profitability, time cards and promotion of efficient paradigms must be used together.
E. Certain employees might be averse to the idea of speeding up the production, even when there are distinct monetary benefits of doing so.
A.Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something the author would agree with as illustrated by the discussion of conscious pace-setting and factories in the first paragraph.
B. Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something the author would agree with as mentioned in the second paragraph. The author states that, Invariably these people win promotion by industry, skill, and efficiency greater than that displayed by their direct peers, or by mastery of their skills
Since the above is cited as part of a strategy advocated by the author to maximize profits, choice B can be inferred as something that the author would agree with.
C. Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something the author would agree with and is directly supported by the second paragraph, which states, "This focusing of attention upon individuals worthy of imitation has been carried much farther by various companies." "Various" companies create internal newsletters, so we can assume this is not a method all companies put into effect.
D. Correct: Opposite

The author introduces the strategy of promoting good examples as an alternative to use of time cards, implying that it’s not a must that they be used together.
E. Incorrect: Can be Inferred

The author mentions in the first paragraph that

..., however, such an effort to "speed up" production might stir resentment, even among the workers paid at a fixed rate for each unit produced or action performed,...

Accordingly, it can be inferred that these workers will stand to benefit if they speed up their production work, but even then they might not be open to the idea of doing so.


4. Which of the following best illustrates an instance of successful unconscious pace-setting?

A. A car factory sets a quota for the number of windshields installed per hour incentivizes windshield-installers to work at a faster rate.
B. A military unit consisting of infantrymen cross-train with multiple weapons so they are more efficient in battle.
C. A magazine regularly sets aside a column to name a specific “Employee of the Month” and award the employee for his/her dedication.
D. A watch repair store requiring its employees to self-report their hours finds them to be inaccurate.
E. An accounting firm that hires specialized workers to handle simultaneous parts of its billing increases efficiency by requiring workers to clock in and out.

A. Incorrect: Opposite

The paragraph warns that factory workers who are given such quotas can be resentful, and that ultimately such policies can backfire, decreasing inefficiency.
B. Incorrect: Out Of Scope

The passage does not mention workers cross-training as a way to improve efficiency. The paragraph is specifically focused on whether setting pace expectations causes more or less efficiency.
C.Correct

This is an example of unconscious pace setting mentioned in the passage.
D. Incorrect: Out of Scope

The morality of employees is outside the scope of the paragraph. The paragraph is concerned with the situations in which pace-setting is and is not effective at improving efficiency.
E. Incorrect: Out of Scope

There is no incentivizing mentioned here. This example is irrelevant to the passage.


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Originally posted by Skywalker18 on 01 Jul 2018, 02:25.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 14 Apr 2019, 09:44, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 24 Sep 2018, 09:26
Can you explain Q4? I thought P2 was about conscious pace setting - a scenario where employees know the benefit they would get if they do X amazingly. Did I misread the passage?
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 10:59
That's a 700+ RC passage. Definitely not a 600-700 one.
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New post 24 Sep 2018, 21:27
Kaczet wrote:
That's a 700+ RC passage. Definitely not a 600-700 one.


I updated the difficulty tag to reflect the same.
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2019, 09:46
Bumping up for discussion
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2019, 22:30
1
Q1: B

The first three lines of the second paragraph clearly states: the need to set examples which the workers would want to emulate,
and could inspire them subconsciously. "A big order closed, a difficult contract secured, a complex or delicate operation performed in less than the usual time" are some of the examples that could inspire employees.

Q2: C

1) "there there are minute subdivisions of operations and continuity of processes, this method of increasing efficiency is very commonly applied with the use of time cards and software".

2) "The alternative, of course, is for the employer to secure unconscious pace setting by providing incentives for the naturally ambitious men and women"
and the second one is explained in greater detail in the second paragraph.

Q3: D

Time cards is something author wouldn't agree too. As he mocks the use of time cards in the first paragraph ("speed up").

Q4: C

By awarding "employee of the month" to one employee, it could inspire other employees to achieve the same (or similar).

This is my first answer/post on gmatclub :)
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2019, 09:56
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Not sure about the answers of Q1 and Q4.

Q1-->point B is about conscious effort not unconscious.

Q4-->Pont C is again Conscious pace setting.
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2019, 00:05
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Sneha333 wrote:
Not sure about the answers of Q1 and Q4.

Q1-->point B is about conscious effort not unconscious.

Q4-->Pont C is again Conscious pace setting.


Q4 Which of the following best illustrates an instance of successful unconscious pace-setting?

there is a small subtle difference between conscious and unconscious.
Conscious would have be in case of option A " A car factory sets a quota for the number of windshields installed per hour incentivizes windshield-installers to work at a faster rate. " Here an owner is explicitly setting hours (pace setting) whereas in option C " A magazine regularly sets aside a column to name a specific “Employee of the Month” and award the employee for his/her dedication."
The magzine owner never sets explicit criteria for employee of month. Rather employees would unconsciously set the pace to be an employee of the month


Q1-- Similarly these are some examples through which companies take unconscious incentivizing to the next level.
The lines abov "This focusing of attention upon individuals worthy of imitation has been carried much farther by various companies. " is anther explanation of unconscious
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Re: To maximize profits, an employer should control his or her environment   [#permalink] 19 Apr 2019, 00:05
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