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Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading.

Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading Answers

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Reading Passage 3, Questions 28-40
28. A // establish whether increased productivity
should be sought at any cost
29. C // had identical patterns of organisation
30. C // the staff involved spent a number of months
preparing for the study
31. supervision // leadership // management
32. productivity
33. reduced // cut // decreased
34. (group methods of) leadership
35. overstaffed
36. reduced // cut // decreased
37. C // Changes in productivity
38. D // Employees’ feelings of responsibility towards
completion of work
39. G // Employees feel closer to their supervisors
40. F // Employees’ opinion as to extent of personal
support from management

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PassageMeasuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading

There is clear-cut evidence that, for a period of at least one year, supervision that increases the direct pressure for productivity can achieve significant increases in production. However, such short-term increases are obtained only at a substantial and serious cost to the organisation.

To what extent can a manager make an impressive earnings record over a short period of one to three years by exploiting
the company’s investment in the human organisation in his plant or division? To what extent will the quality of his organisation suffer if he does so? The following is a description of an important study conducted by the Institute for Social Research designed to answer these questions.

The study covered 500 clerical employees in four parallel divisions. Each division was organised in exactly the same way, used the same technology, did exactly the same kind of work, and had employees of comparable aptitudes.

Productivity in all four of the divisions depended on the number of clerks involved. The work entailed the processing of
accounts and generating of invoices. Although the volume of work was considerable, the nature of the business was such
that it could only be processed as it came along. Consequently, the only way in which productivity could be increased was to change the size of the workgroup.

The four divisions were assigned to two experimental programs on a random basis. Each program was assigned at random a division that had been historically high in productivity and a division that had been below average in productivity. No attempt was made to place a division in the program that would best fit its habitual methods of supervision used by the manager, assistant managers, supervisors, and assistant supervisors.

The experiment at the clerical level lasted for one year. Beforehand, several months were devoted to planning, and there was also a training period of approximately six months. Productivity was measured continuously and computed weekly throughout the year. The attitudes of employees and supervisory staff towards their work were measured just before and after the period.

Turning now to the heart of the study, in two divisions an attempt was made to change the supervision so that the
decision levels were pushed down and detailed supervision of the workers reduced. More general supervision of the
clerks and their supervisors was introduced. In addition, the managers, assistant managers, supervisors, and assistant
supervisors of these two divisions were trained in group methods of leadership, which they endeavored to use as much
as their skill would permit during the experimental year. For easy reference, the experimental changes in these two divisions will be labeled the ‘participative programme!

In the other two divisions, by contrast, the programme called for modifying the supervision so as to increase the
closeness of supervision and move the decision levels upwards. This will be labelled the ‘hierarchically controlled
programme’. These changes were accomplished by a further extension of the scientific management approach. For
example, one of the major changes made was to have the jobs timed and to have standard times computed. This showed
that these divisions were overstaffed by about 30%. The general manager then ordered the managers of these two
divisions to cut staff by 25%. This was done by transfers without replacing the persons who left; no one was to be
dismissed.

Results of the Experiment

Changes in Productivity

Figure 1 shows the changes in salary costs per unit of work, which reflect the change in productivity that occurred in the
divisions. As will be observed, the hierarchically controlled programmes increased productivity by about 25%. This was a result of the direct orders from the general manager to reduce staff by that amount. Direct pressure produced a
substantial increase in production.

A significant increase in productivity of 2O°/o was also achieved in the participative programme, but this was not as great

an increase as in the hierarchically controlled programme. To bring about this improvement, the clerks themselves participated in the decision to reduce the size of the work group. (They were aware of course that productivity increases
were sought by management in conducting these experiments.) Obviously, deciding to reduce the size of a workgroup by
eliminating some of its members is probably one of the most difficult decisions for a workgroup to make. Yet the clerks made it. In fact, one division in the participative program increased its productivity by about the same amount as each of the two divisions in the hierarchically controlled programme. The other participative division, which historically had
been the poorest of all the divisions, did not do so well and increased productivity by only 15%.

Changes in Attitudes.

Although both programmes had similar effects on productivity, they had significantly different results in other respects.
The productivity increases in the hierarchically controlled programme were accompanied by shifts in an adverse direction
in such factors as loyalty, attitudes, interest, and involvement in the work. But just the opposite was true in the
participative programme. For example, Figure 2 shows that when more general supervision and increased participation were provided, the employees’ feeling of responsibility to see that the work got done increased. Again, when the supervisor was away, they kept on working. In the hierarchically controlled programme, however, the feeling of responsibility decreased, and when
the supervisor was absent, work tended to stop.

As Figure 3 shows, the employees in the participative programme at the end of the year felt that their manager and
assistant manager were ‘closer to them’ than at the beginning of the year. The opposite was true in the hierarchical
programme. Moreover, as Figure 4 shows, employees in the participative programme felt that their supervisors were more
likely to ‘pull’ for them, or for the company and them, and not be solely interested in the company, while in the
hierarchically controlled programme, the opposite trend occurred.

Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading
figures
Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading questions
figures

Questions 28-30 Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading

Choose the appropriate letters A-D and write them in boxes 28-30 on your answer sheet.

  1. The experiment was designed to
    • A. establish whether increased productivity should be sought at any cost.
    • B. show that four divisions could use the same technology.
    • C. perfect a system for processing accounts.
    • D. exploit the human organisation of a company in order to increase profits.
  2. The four divisions
    • A. each employed a staff of 500 clerks.
    • B. each had equal levels of productivity.
    • C. had identical patterns of organisation.
    • D. were randomly chosen for the experiment.
  3. Before the experiment
    • A. the four divisions were carefully selected to suit a specific programme.
    • B. each division was told to reduce its level of productivity.
    • C. the staff involved spent a number of months preparing for the study.
    • D. the employees were questioned about their feelings towards the study.

Questions 31-36.

Complete the summary below. Choose ONE word from Reading Passage 3 for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 31-36 on your answer sheet
.

This experiment involved an organization comprising four divisions, which were divided into two programmes: the
hierarchically controlled programme and the participative programme. For a period of one year a different method of … 31 … was used in each programme. Throughout this time … 32 … was calculated on a weekly basis. During
the course of the experiment, the following changes were made in an attempt to improve performance.

In the participative programme:
• supervision of all workers was … 33 …
• supervisory staff were given training in … 34 …

In the hierarchically controlled programme:
• supervision of all workers was increased.
• workgroups were found to be … 35 … by 30%.
• the workforce was … 36 … by 25%

Questions 37-40.

Look at Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Reading Passage 3.
Choose the most appropriate label, A—I, for each Figure from the box below.
Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

A. Employees’ interest in the company
B. Cost increases for the company
C. Changes in productivity
D. Employees’ feelings of responsibility towards
completion of work
E. Changes in productivity when supervisor was
absent
F. Employees’ opinion as to extent of personal
support from management
G. Employees feel closer to their supervisors
H. Employees’ feelings towards increased supervision
I. Supervisors’ opinion as to the closeness of workgroup
Table.

37. Fig 1……………….
38. Fig2……………….
39. Fig 3……………….
40. Fig 4………………

Answer of Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS Reading.

Answers of Measuring Organisational Performance IELTS READING

Reading Passage 3, Questions 28-40
28. A // establish whether increased productivity
should be sought at any cost
29. C // had identical patterns of organisation
30. C // the staff involved spent a number of months
preparing for the study
31. supervision // leadership // management
32. productivity
33. reduced // cut // decreased
34. (group methods of) leadership
35. overstaffed
36. reduced // cut // decreased
37. C // Changes in productivity
38. D // Employees’ feelings of responsibility towards
completion of work
39. G // Employees feel closer to their supervisors
40. F // Employees’ opinion as to extent of personal
support from management

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