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     Home >> GMAT >> Essays >> Essay - 108


    The following appeared in a memorandum from the director of research and development at Ready-to-Ware, a software engineering firm. “The package of benefits and incentives that Ready-to-Ware offers to professional staff is too costly. Our quarterly profits have declined since the package was introduced two years ago, at the time of our incorporation. Moreover, the package had little positive effect, as we have had only marginal success in recruiting and training high-quality professional staff. To become more profitable again, Readyto- Ware should, therefore, offer the reduced benefits package that was in place two years ago and use the savings to fund our current research and development initiatives.” Discuss how well reasoned . . . etc.

       In this memorandum the director of research and development of Ready-to-Ware recommends reducing the benefits package offered to employees as a means of increasing profits and funding current research and development initiatives. The director’s line of reasoning is that quarterly profits have declined because of the current benefits package and can be increased by reducing it. Moreover, the director argues that the benefits package had little effect in recruiting and training high-quality employees. The director’s argument is questionable for several reasons.

    To begin with, the director’s reasoning is a classic instance of “after this, therefore because of this” reasoning. The only evidence put forward to support the claim that the introduction of the benefits package is responsible for the decline in quarterly profits is that the profits declined after the package was introduced. However, this evidence is insufficient to establish the causal claim in question. Many other factors could bring about the same result. For example, the company may have failed to keep pace with competitors in introducing new products or may have failed to satisfy its customers by providing adequate support services. Until these and other possible factors are ruled out, it is premature to conclude that the introduction of the benefits package was the cause of the decline in profits.

    Next, the director assumes that the benefits package currently offered is responsible for the marginal success Ready-to-Ware has experienced in recruiting and training new high-quality professionals. However, no evidence is offered to support this allegation. Other reasons for Ready-to-Ware’s failure to attract high-quality professionals are not considered. For example, perhaps Ready-to-Ware is not a cutting edge company or is not regarded as a leader in its field. Until these and other possible explanations of the company’s marginal success at recruiting and training employees are examined and eliminated it is folly to conclude that the benefits package provided to the professional staff is responsible.

    In conclusion, the director has failed to provide convincing reasons for reducing the benefits package Ready-to-Ware currently offers its professional staff. To further support the recommendation the director would have to examine and eliminate other possible reasons for the decline in Ready-to-Ware’s quarterly profits and for its lack of success in attracting high-quality professionals.




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