This topic has expert replies
Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 Jul 2009

RC Passage

by beatthegmat2910 » Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:12 pm
Why firms adhere to or deviate
from their strategic plans is poorly
understood. However, theory and
Line limited research suggest that the
(5) process through which such plans
emerge may play a part. In particular,
top management decision-sharing-
consensus-oriented, team-based
decision-making-may increase the
(10) likelihood that firms will adhere to their
plans, because those involved in the
decision-making may be more com-
mitted to the chosen course of action,
thereby increasing the likelihood that
(15) organizations will subsequently adhere
to their plans.
However, the relationship between
top management decision-sharing and
adherence to plans may be affected
(20) by a firm's strategic mission (its fun-
damental approach to increasing
sales revenue and market share, and
generating cash flow and short-term
profits). At one end of the strategic
(25) mission continuum, "build" strategies
are pursued when a firm desires to
increase its market share and is willing
to sacrifice short-term profits to do so.
At the other end, "harvest" strategies
(30) are used when a firm is willing to
sacrifice marked share for short-term
profitability and cash-flow maximiza-
tion. Research and theory suggest
that top management decision-sharing
(35) may have a more positive relationship
with adherence to plans among firms
with harvest strategies than among
firms with build strategies. In a study
of strategic practices in several large
(40) firms, managers in harvest strategy
scenarios were more able to adhere
to their business plans. As one of the
managers in the study explained it,
this is partly because "[t]ypically all a
(45) manager has to do [when implementing
a harvest strategy] is that which was
done last year." Additionally, man-
agers under harvest strategies may
have fewer strategic options than do
(50) those under build strategies; it may
therefore be easier to reach agree-
ment on a particular course of action
through decision-sharing, which will
in turn tend to promote adherence
(55) to plans. Conversely, in a "build"
strategy scenario, individual leader-
ship, rather than decision-sharing,
may promote adherence to plans.
Build strategies-which typically
(60) require leaders with strong perso-
nal visions for a firm's future, rather
than the negotiated compromise
of the team-based decision-may
be most closely adhered to when
(65) implemented in the context of a clear
strategic vision of an individual leader,
rather than through the practice of
decision-sharing.

Q23:
Which of the following best describes the function of the first sentence (lines 17-24) of the second paragraph of the passage?

A. To answer a question posed in the first sentence of the passage about why firms adopt particular strategic missions
B. To refute an argument made in the first paragraph about how top management decision-making affects whether firms will adhere to their strategic plans
C. To provide evidence supporting a theory introduced in the first paragraph about what makes firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plants
D. To qualify an assertion made in the preceding sentence (lines 6-16) about how top management decision-making affects the likelihood that firms will adhere to their strategic plans
E. To explain a distinction relied on in the second paragraph (lines 17-68) regarding two different kinds of strategic missions

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q24:
The passage cites all of the following as differences between firms using build strategies and firms using harvest strategies EXCEPT

A. their willingness to sacrifice short-term profits in order to build market share
B. their willingness to sacrifice building market share in order to increase short-term profitability
C. the number of strategic options available to their managers
D. the relative importance they assign to maximizing cash-flow
E. how likely they are to employ decision-sharing in developing strategic plans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q26:
The author includes the quotation in lines 44-47 of the passage most probably in order to

A. lend support to the claim that firms utilizing harvest strategies may be more likely to adhere to their strategic plans
B. suggest a reason that many managers of large firm prefer harvest strategies to build strategies
C. provide an example of a firm that adhered to its strategic plan because of the degree of its managers' commitment
D. demonstrate that managers implementing harvest strategies generally have better strategic options than do managers implementing build strategies
E. give an example of a large firm that successfully implemented a harvest strategy

Legendary Member
Posts: 869
Joined: 26 Aug 2009
Location: California
Thanked: 13 times
Followed by:3 members

by heshamelaziry » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:00 pm
1- D
2- E
3- B
4- A

Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 18
Joined: 28 Apr 2009

by Caroline Lee » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:37 pm
beatthegmat2910 wrote: Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans
Could anybody please explain why the Option B is correct, and why the Option E is not?
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. ----Russell

GMAT Instructor
Posts: 1302
Joined: 19 Oct 2009
Location: Toronto
Thanked: 539 times
Followed by:163 members
GMAT Score:800

by Testluv » Fri Dec 11, 2009 11:48 pm
Caroline Lee wrote:
beatthegmat2910 wrote: Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans
Could anybody please explain why the Option B is correct, and why the Option E is not?
It has to do with the topic and scope of the passage, which come in the very first sentence of this passage:

"Why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans is poorly understood."

Do you see how the language here is replicated word for word in the seond half of choice B? This first sentence tells us that the author is interested in the fact that it is poorly understood why firms adhere to or deviate from the strategic plans that they made for themselves. The second sentence of the passage begins with the important contrast keyword "however". This tells us that although we don't really know why firms choose to follow or stray from their plans, there is theory and research that "suggest" certain conclusions. So, just from the first sentence, and the first word of the second sentence, we can tell that the author's purpose is, roughly: "to discuss theory that will shed light as to why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans." (We learn later that he ends up comparing two theories but we already had enough info to answer the global question).

This analysis clearly matches choice B.

Choice E is tempting but it is a little bid too broad and not quite precise enough to match the author's intent in writing the passage. Choice E makes it sound as though the factors (that influence whether a firm adheres to or deviates from plan) are well understood; otherwise, how would he be able to "examine" them? But he said that the reason firms adhere to or deviate from are "poorly understood". (And, of course, if the factors were well known, there would be no need to turn to theory or research). So, choice E, in addition to being imprecise, also tends to contradict the author's opening sentence.

______________

In RC, you should attack the passage, note the topic and scope, and try to figure out the author's purpose as early as possible. ("is he writing to compare theories, to explain a phenomenon, to describe a process, to advocate a certain theory, to rebut a theory, etc."). This is because if we understand why the author wrote the passage, not only will it make it easier to answer the purpose question, but it will also be easier to answer the more difficult inference questions.
Kaplan Teacher in Toronto

Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Posts: 38
Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Thanked: 3 times

by aspirant1 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:40 pm
Q26:
The author includes the quotation in lines 44-47 of the passage most probably in order to

A. lend support to the claim that firms utilizing harvest strategies may be more likely to adhere to their strategic plans
B. suggest a reason that many managers of large firm prefer harvest strategies to build strategies
C. provide an example of a firm that adhered to its strategic plan because of the degree of its managers' commitment
D. demonstrate that managers implementing harvest strategies generally have better strategic options than do managers implementing build strategies
E. give an example of a large firm that successfully implemented a harvest strategy
.........................

I am wondering what actually disqualifies (B)......is that because managers prefer harvest strategies

"[t]ypically all a (45) manager has to do [when implementing a harvest strategy] is that which was done last year"


My inference on the quote .... it is easier for the managers to follow what they have done last year so they prefer harvest strategy. so go with (B)

am i actually missing something here!

Legendary Member
Posts: 1404
Joined: 20 May 2008
Thanked: 18 times
Followed by:2 members

by tanviet » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:23 pm
Caroline Lee wrote:
beatthegmat2910 wrote: Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans
Could anybody please explain why the Option B is correct, and why the Option E is not?
I still do not understand. What are two different theories mentioned in B?

pls help

Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 2
Joined: 24 Apr 2010

by sissizhx » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:26 am
hi, could someone please explain why Q23 is D instead of E?
Isn't E the summary of the second paragraph?

Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
Posts: 16
Joined: 29 Dec 2009
Thanked: 2 times

by vikas.yaadav » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:17 pm
Testluv wrote:
Caroline Lee wrote:
beatthegmat2910 wrote: Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans
Could anybody please explain why the Option B is correct, and why the Option E is not?
It has to do with the topic and scope of the passage, which come in the very first sentence of this passage:

"Why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans is poorly understood."

Do you see how the language here is replicated word for word in the seond half of choice B? This first sentence tells us that the author is interested in the fact that it is poorly understood why firms adhere to or deviate from the strategic plans that they made for themselves. The second sentence of the passage begins with the important contrast keyword "however". This tells us that although we don't really know why firms choose to follow or stray from their plans, there is theory and research that "suggest" certain conclusions. So, just from the first sentence, and the first word of the second sentence, we can tell that the author's purpose is, roughly: "to discuss theory that will shed light as to why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans." (We learn later that he ends up comparing two theories but we already had enough info to answer the global question).

This analysis clearly matches choice B.

Choice E is tempting but it is a little bid too broad and not quite precise enough to match the author's intent in writing the passage. Choice E makes it sound as though the factors (that influence whether a firm adheres to or deviates from plan) are well understood; otherwise, how would he be able to "examine" them? But he said that the reason firms adhere to or deviate from are "poorly understood". (And, of course, if the factors were well known, there would be no need to turn to theory or research). So, choice E, in addition to being imprecise, also tends to contradict the author's opening sentence.

______________

In RC, you should attack the passage, note the topic and scope, and try to figure out the author's purpose as early as possible. ("is he writing to compare theories, to explain a phenomenon, to describe a process, to advocate a certain theory, to rebut a theory, etc."). This is because if we understand why the author wrote the passage, not only will it make it easier to answer the purpose question, but it will also be easier to answer the more difficult inference questions.
After a detailed reading and search, I could not find two theories in passage. Also Passage becomes more about importance of "decision sharing to adherence, and its implications on two different strategic approaches " Build" and " harvest". Please note these were highlighted as extreme ends of a continuum and not theories i.e. we may have many approaches in between these two approaches.

More i read more I was pulled towards option "C", Albeit that answer choice is not one of the favored one here.

to me passage went like this--" No one knows why companies adhere or deviate from plan, BUT one very critical reason could be decision sharing,also decision sharing has different impact in "Build" and Harvest" cases, further X,Y and Z are differences in "Build" and "Harvest Approach"

Will really appreciate your review.

Thanks

Legendary Member
Posts: 1119
Joined: 07 May 2010
Thanked: 29 times
Followed by:3 members

by diebeatsthegmat » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:54 pm
beatthegmat2910 wrote:Why firms adhere to or deviate
from their strategic plans is poorly
understood. However, theory and
Line limited research suggest that the
(5) process through which such plans
emerge may play a part. In particular,
top management decision-sharing-
consensus-oriented, team-based
decision-making-may increase the
(10) likelihood that firms will adhere to their
plans, because those involved in the
decision-making may be more com-
mitted to the chosen course of action,
thereby increasing the likelihood that
(15) organizations will subsequently adhere
to their plans.
However, the relationship between
top management decision-sharing and
adherence to plans may be affected
(20) by a firm's strategic mission (its fun-
damental approach to increasing
sales revenue and market share, and
generating cash flow and short-term
profits). At one end of the strategic
(25) mission continuum, "build" strategies
are pursued when a firm desires to
increase its market share and is willing
to sacrifice short-term profits to do so.
At the other end, "harvest" strategies
(30) are used when a firm is willing to
sacrifice marked share for short-term
profitability and cash-flow maximiza-
tion. Research and theory suggest
that top management decision-sharing
(35) may have a more positive relationship
with adherence to plans among firms
with harvest strategies than among
firms with build strategies. In a study
of strategic practices in several large
(40) firms, managers in harvest strategy
scenarios were more able to adhere
to their business plans. As one of the
managers in the study explained it,
this is partly because "[t]ypically all a
(45) manager has to do [when implementing
a harvest strategy] is that which was
done last year." Additionally, man-
agers under harvest strategies may
have fewer strategic options than do
(50) those under build strategies; it may
therefore be easier to reach agree-
ment on a particular course of action
through decision-sharing, which will
in turn tend to promote adherence
(55) to plans. Conversely, in a "build"
strategy scenario, individual leader-
ship, rather than decision-sharing,
may promote adherence to plans.
Build strategies-which typically
(60) require leaders with strong perso-
nal visions for a firm's future, rather
than the negotiated compromise
of the team-based decision-may
be most closely adhered to when
(65) implemented in the context of a clear
strategic vision of an individual leader,
rather than through the practice of
decision-sharing.

Q23:
Which of the following best describes the function of the first sentence (lines 17-24) of the second paragraph of the passage?

A. To answer a question posed in the first sentence of the passage about why firms adopt particular strategic missions
B. To refute an argument made in the first paragraph about how top management decision-making affects whether firms will adhere to their strategic plans
C. To provide evidence supporting a theory introduced in the first paragraph about what makes firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plants
D. To qualify an assertion made in the preceding sentence (lines 6-16) about how top management decision-making affects the likelihood that firms will adhere to their strategic plans
E. To explain a distinction relied on in the second paragraph (lines 17-68) regarding two different kinds of strategic missions

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q24:
The passage cites all of the following as differences between firms using build strategies and firms using harvest strategies EXCEPT

A. their willingness to sacrifice short-term profits in order to build market share
B. their willingness to sacrifice building market share in order to increase short-term profitability
C. the number of strategic options available to their managers
D. the relative importance they assign to maximizing cash-flow
E. how likely they are to employ decision-sharing in developing strategic plans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q25:
The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. identify some of the obstacles that make it difficult for firms to adhere to their strategic business plans
B. compare two different theories concerning why firms adhere to or deviate from their strategic plans
C. evaluate the utility of top management decision-sharing as a method of implementing the strategic mission of a business
D. discuss the respective advantages and disadvantages of build and harvest strategies among several large firms
E. examine some of the factors that may affect whether or not firms adhere to their strategic plans

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q26:
The author includes the quotation in lines 44-47 of the passage most probably in order to

A. lend support to the claim that firms utilizing harvest strategies may be more likely to adhere to their strategic plans
B. suggest a reason that many managers of large firm prefer harvest strategies to build strategies
C. provide an example of a firm that adhered to its strategic plan because of the degree of its managers' commitment
D. demonstrate that managers implementing harvest strategies generally have better strategic options than do managers implementing build strategies
E. give an example of a large firm that successfully implemented a harvest strategy
BCB B
what is the answer?

User avatar
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 8
Joined: 04 Sep 2009

by samark » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:52 am
Hi folks,

Nice RC! I did that in 11 minutes. little slow, but I have to scroll a lot in between.

I got follwing:
23:D
24:E
25:E
26:A

Whats the OA?

Thanks!

Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 292
Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Thanked: 6 times
Followed by:1 members

by pnk » Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:37 am
aspirant1 wrote:Q26:
The author includes the quotation in lines 44-47 of the passage most probably in order to

A. lend support to the claim that firms utilizing harvest strategies may be more likely to adhere to their strategic plans
B. suggest a reason that many managers of large firm prefer harvest strategies to build strategies
.........................

I am wondering what actually disqualifies (B)......is that because managers prefer harvest strategies

"[t]ypically all a (45) manager has to do [when implementing a harvest strategy] is that which was done last year"

am i actually missing something here!
Read the psssg: Research and theory suggest
that top management decision-sharing
(35) may have a more positive relationship
with adherence to plans among firms
with harvest strategies than among
firms with build strategies
. In a study
of strategic practices in several large
(40) firms, managers in harvest strategy
scenarios were more able to adhere
to their business plans. As one of the
managers in the study explained it,
this is partly because "[t]ypically all a
(45) manager has to do [when implementing
a harvest strategy] is that which was
done last year."


The passage only says 'firms that adopt harvest strategies adhere to plans more than firms that adopt build strategies'. It never says that many managers are adopting harvest strategies. Managers adhere to plans in harvest strategy because managers are already working on some of the ideas that hv been done earlier.

Yes we can infer that it is easier for the managers to follow what they have done last year but we cannot infer that they prefer harvest strategy. We can only infer that managers working under harvest strategies w. So, B is incorrect IMO Aill use some of the ideas of previous years and such usage of earlier ideas leads to higher compliance to plans.

Answers BEEA

Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 156
Joined: 04 Sep 2010
Location: Leeds,UK
Thanked: 1 times

by lokesh r » Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:48 pm
IMO..

23.c
24.e
25.e
26.a

User avatar
Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Mar 2019

OA

by Wellington » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:00 pm
Dude, Your answers were all correct, please teach me how to deal with Q23/25/26, THX

OA: D/E/E/A