• EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT

Passage 2 | Question # 3

This topic has 2 expert replies and 1 member reply
richachampion Legendary Member
Joined
21 Jul 2015
Posted:
678 messages
Followed by:
24 members
Thanked:
31 times
Test Date:
∞ →
Target GMAT Score:
760
GMAT Score:
740

Passage 2 | Question # 3

Post Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:39 pm
Elapsed Time: 00:00
  • Lap #[LAPCOUNT] ([LAPTIME])
    After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was company-based, with separate unions in each auto company. Most company unions played no independent role in bargaining shop-floor issues or pressing autoworkers' grievances. In a 1981 survey, for example, fewer than 1 percent of workers said they sought union assistance for work-related problems, while 43 percent said they turned to management instead. There was little to distinguish the two in any case: most union officers were foremen or middle-level managers, and the union's role was primarily one of passive support for company goals. Conflict occasionally disrupted this cooperative relationship--one company union's opposition to the productivity campaigns of the early 1980s has been cited as such a case. In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation. In the United States, the potential for such company unionism grew after 1979, but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions.

    The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions. What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers. The foreman exercised discretion over job assignments, training, transfers, and promotions; worker initiative was limited to suggestions that fine-tuned a management-controlled production process. Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control. For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, routinely gave department managers only 90 percent of the resources needed for production. As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime, 10 percent of remaining resources would be removed. Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."

    3. The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to
    A. indicate a way in which the United States industry has become more like the Japanese auto industry
    B. challenge a particular misconception about worker empowerment in the Japanese auto industry
    C. illustrate the kinds of problem-solving techniques encouraged by company unions in Japan
    D. suggest an effective way of minimizing production costs in auto manufacturing
    E. provide an example of the responsibilities assumed by a foreman in the Japanese auto industry

    OA: B

    All Questions from this Passage -
    Passage 2|Question #1
    Passage 2|Question #2
    Passage 2|Question #3
    Passage 2|Question #4

    _________________
    R I C H A,
    My GMAT Journey: 470 → 720 → 740
    Target Score: 760+
    richacrunch2@gmail.com
    1. Press thanks if you like my solution.
    2. Contact me if you are not improving. (No Free Lunch!)

    Need free GMAT or MBA advice from an expert? Register for Beat The GMAT now and post your question in these forums!
    Post Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:16 pm
    richachampion wrote:
    After the Second World War, unionism in the Japanese auto industry was company-based, with separate unions in each auto company. Most company unions played no independent role in bargaining shop-floor issues or pressing autoworkers' grievances. In a 1981 survey, for example, fewer than 1 percent of workers said they sought union assistance for work-related problems, while 43 percent said they turned to management instead. There was little to distinguish the two in any case: most union officers were foremen or middle-level managers, and the union's role was primarily one of passive support for company goals. Conflict occasionally disrupted this cooperative relationship--one company union's opposition to the productivity campaigns of the early 1980s has been cited as such a case. In 1986, however, a caucus led by the Foreman's Association forced the union's leadership out of office and returned the union's policy to one of passive cooperation. In the United States, the potential for such company unionism grew after 1979, but it had difficulty taking hold in the auto industry, where a single union represented workers from all companies, particularly since federal law prohibited foremen from joining or leading industrial unions.

    The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions. What these claims failed to recognize was that the actual delegation of authority was to the foreman, not the workers. The foreman exercised discretion over job assignments, training, transfers, and promotions; worker initiative was limited to suggestions that fine-tuned a management-controlled production process. Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control. For example, the founder of one production system, Taichi Ohno, routinely gave department managers only 90 percent of the resources needed for production. As soon as workers could meet production goals without working overtime, 10 percent of remaining resources would be removed. Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."

    3. The author of the passage mentions the "OH! NO!" system primarily in order to
    A. indicate a way in which the United States industry has become more like the Japanese auto industry
    B. challenge a particular misconception about worker empowerment in the Japanese auto industry
    C. illustrate the kinds of problem-solving techniques encouraged by company unions in Japan
    D. suggest an effective way of minimizing production costs in auto manufacturing
    E. provide an example of the responsibilities assumed by a foreman in the Japanese auto industry

    OA: B


    All Questions from this Passage -
    Passage 2|Question #1
    Passage 2|Question #2
    Passage 2|Question #3
    Passage 2|Question #4
    Here's the first sentence in paragraph 2: The Japanese model was often invoked as one in which authority decentralized to the shop floor empowered production workers to make key decisions.

    We discover later in the paragraph that this is a misconception: Rather than being proactive, Japanese workers were forced to be reactive, the range of their responsibilities being far wider than their span of control.


    The system described is one example of this misconception, so the answer is B

    _________________
    Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

    Veritas Prep Reviews
    Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

    Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!
    richachampion Legendary Member
    Joined
    21 Jul 2015
    Posted:
    678 messages
    Followed by:
    24 members
    Thanked:
    31 times
    Test Date:
    ∞ →
    Target GMAT Score:
    760
    GMAT Score:
    740
    Post Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:28 pm
    DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
    The system described is one example of this misconception, so the answer is B
    I was down to B and D; How can we remove D safely?

    _________________
    R I C H A,
    My GMAT Journey: 470 → 720 → 740
    Target Score: 760+
    richacrunch2@gmail.com
    1. Press thanks if you like my solution.
    2. Contact me if you are not improving. (No Free Lunch!)

    Thanked by: Anaira Mitch
    Post Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:10 am
    richachampion wrote:
    DavidG@VeritasPrep wrote:
    The system described is one example of this misconception, so the answer is B
    I was down to B and D; How can we remove D safely?
    The last line describes the process: Because the "OH! NO!" system continually pushed the production process to the verge of breakdown in an effort to find the minimum resource requirement, critics described it as "management by stress."


    Pushed the process to the verge of breakdown? It seems like a stretch to refer to that process as "effective." Moreover, we get this description in the context of a paragraph that is trying to convey the notion that what people think about the Japanese model is, at best, a distortion. The point isn't to show that such a model works well.

    _________________
    Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor

    Veritas Prep Reviews
    Save $100 off any live Veritas Prep GMAT Course

    Thanked by: Anaira Mitch
    Enroll in a Veritas Prep GMAT class completely for FREE. Wondering if a GMAT course is right for you? Attend the first class session of an actual GMAT course, either in-person or live online, and see for yourself why so many students choose to work with Veritas Prep. Find a class now!

    Best Conversation Starters

    1 Vincen 180 topics
    2 lheiannie07 61 topics
    3 Roland2rule 54 topics
    4 ardz24 44 topics
    5 VJesus12 14 topics
    See More Top Beat The GMAT Members...

    Most Active Experts

    1 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

    GMAT Prep Now Teacher

    155 posts
    2 image description Rich.C@EMPOWERgma...

    EMPOWERgmat

    105 posts
    3 image description GMATGuruNY

    The Princeton Review Teacher

    101 posts
    4 image description Jay@ManhattanReview

    Manhattan Review

    82 posts
    5 image description Matt@VeritasPrep

    Veritas Prep

    80 posts
    See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts