GMAT Argument Writing Samples
4. In response to a coincidence between calling revenues and delays in manufacturing, the report recommends replacing the manager of the purchasing department. The grounds for this action are twofold. First, the delays are traced to poor planning in purchasing metals. Second, the purchasing managers lack of knowledge of the properties of metals is thought to be the cause of the poor planning. It is further recommended that the position of the purchasing manager be filled by a scientist from the research division and that the current purchasing manager be reassigned to the sales department. In support of this latter recommendation, the report states that the current purchasing managers background in general business, psychology, and sociology equip him for this new assignment. The recommendations advanced in the report are questionable for two reasons.
To begin with, the report fails to establish a causal connection between the falling revenues of the company and the delays in manufacturing. The mere fact that falling revenues coincide with delays in manufacturing is insufficient to conclude that the delays caused the decline in revenue. Without compelling evidence to support the causal connection between these two events, the reports recommendations are not worthy of consideration.
Second, a central assumption of the report is that knowledge of the properties of metals is necessary for planning in purchasing metals. No evidence is stated in the report to support this crucial assumption. Moreover, it is not obvious that such knowledge would be required to perform this task. Since planning is essentially a logistical function, it is doubtful that in-depth knowledge of the properties of metals would be helpful in accomplishing this task.