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Passage 27
  Since the late 1970‘s, in the face of a severe loss ofmarket share in dozens of industries, manufacturers inthe United States have been trying to improve produc-tivity-and therefore enhance their international(5) competitiveness-through cost-cutting programs. (Cost-cutting here is defined as raising labor1 output whileholding the amount of labor constant.) However, from1978 through 1982, productivity-the value of goodsmanufactured divided by the amount of labor input-(10) did not improve; and while the results were better in thebusiness upturn2 of the three years following, they ran 25percent lower than productivity improvements duringearlier, post-1945 upturns3. At the same time, it became clear that the harder manufactures worked to imple-(15) ment cost-cutting, the more they lost their competitiveedge.
  With this paradox4 in mind, I recently visited 25companies; it became clear to me that the cost-cuttingapproach to increasing productivity is fundamentally(20) flawed. Manufacturing regularly observes a “40, 40, 20”rule. Roughly 40 percent of any manufacturing-basedcompetitive advantage derives5 from long-term changesin manufacturing structure (decisions about the number,  size, location, and capacity of facilities) and in approaches(25) to materials. Another 40 percent comes from majorchanges in equipment and process technology. The final20 percent rests on implementing6 conventional cost-cutting. This rule does not imply that cost-cutting shouldnot be tried. The well-known tools of this approach-(30) including simplifying jobs and retraining employees towork smarter, not harder-do produce results. But thetools quickly reach the limits of what they cancontribute.
  Another problem is that the cost-cutting approach(35) hinders innovation and discourages creative people. AsAbernathy‘s study of automobile7 manufacturers hasshown, an industry can easily become prisoner of itsown investments in cost-cutting techniques, reducing itsability to develop new products. And managers under(40) pressure to maximize cost-cutting will resist innovationbecause they know that more fundamental changes inprocesses or systems will wreak8 havoc9 with the results onwhich they are measured. Production managers havealways seen their job as one of minimizing costs and(45) maximizing output. This dimension of performance hasuntil recently sufficed as a basis of evaluation10, but it hascreated a penny-pinching, mechanistic culture in mostfactories that has kept away creative managers.Every company I know that has freed itself from the(50) paradox has done so, in part, by developing and imple-menting a manufacturing strategy. Such a strategyfocuses on the manufacturing structure and on equip-ment and process technology. In one company a manu-facturing strategy that allowed different areas of the(55) factory to specialize in different markets replaced theconventional cost-cutting approach; within three yearsthe company regained11 its competitive advantage.Together with such strategies, successful companies arealso encouraging managers to focus on a wider set ofobjectives besides cutting costs. There is hope for manufacturing, but it clearly rests on a different way ofmanaging.

  1.The author of the passage is primarily concerned with
   (A) summarizing a thesis
   (B) recommending a different approach
   (C) comparing points of view
   (D) making a series of predictions
   (E) describing a number of paradoxes12

  2. It can be inferred from the passage that the manufacturrs mentioned in line 2 expected that the measures they implemented13 would 
   (A) encourage innovation
   (B) keep labor output constant
   (C) increase their competitive advantage
   (D) permit business upturns to be more easily predicted
   (E) cause managers to focus on a wider set of objectives

  3. The primary function of the first paragraph of the passage is to
   (A) outline in brief the author‘s argument
   (B) anticipate challenges to the prescriptions14 that follow
   (C) clarify some disputed definitions of economic terms
   (D) summarize a number of long-accepted explanations
   (E) present a historical context for the author‘s observations

  4. The author refers to Abernathy‘s study (line 36) most probably in order to
   (A) qualify an observation about one rule governing manufacturing
   (B) address possible objections to a recommendation about improving manufacturing competitiveness
   (C) support an earlier assertion about one method of increasing productivity
   (D) suggest the centrality in the United States economy of a particular manufacturing industry
   (E) given an example of research that has questioned the wisdom of revising a manufacturing strategy

  5. The author‘s attitude toward the culture in most factories is best described as
   (A) cautious
   (B) critical
   (C) disinterested15
   (D) respectful
   (E) adulatory16

  6. In the passage,the author includes all of the following EXCEPT
   (A) personal observation
   (B) a business principle
   (C) a definition of productivity
   (D) an example of a successful company
   (E) an illustration of a process technology

  7. The author suggests that implementing conventional cost-cutting as a way of increasing manufacturing competitiveness is a strategy that is
   (A) flawed and ruinous
   (B) shortsighted and difficult to sustain
   (C) popular and easily accomplished
   (D) useful but inadequate
   (E) misunderstood but promising


1 labor P9Tzs     
  • We are never late in satisfying him for his labor.我们从不延误付给他劳动报酬。
  • He was completely spent after two weeks of hard labor.艰苦劳动两周后,他已经疲惫不堪了。
2 upturn 8jdwQ     
  • Experts have forecast an upturn in the stock market.专家已预测股票市场价格有上升趋势。
  • The economy is experiencing an upturn.经济正在好转。
3 upturns c6d1aaa162998e126d3d4bd191f9a23d     
n.好转,上升趋势( upturn的名词复数 )
  • Oscillators work great in trading ranges, where they catch upturns and downturns. 在横盘时振荡指标表现好,它们能抓住上涨和下跌。 来自互联网
4 paradox pAxys     
  • The story contains many levels of paradox.这个故事存在多重悖论。
  • The paradox is that Japan does need serious education reform.矛盾的地方是日本确实需要教育改革。
5 derives c6c3177a6f731a3d743ccd3c53f3f460     
v.得到( derive的第三人称单数 );(从…中)得到获得;源于;(从…中)提取
  • English derives in the main from the common Germanic stock. 英语主要源于日耳曼语系。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He derives his income from freelance work. 他以自由职业获取收入。 来自《简明英汉词典》
6 implementing be68540dfa000a0fb38be40d32259215     
v.实现( implement的现在分词 );执行;贯彻;使生效
  • -- Implementing a comprehensive drug control strategy. ――实行综合治理的禁毒战略。 来自汉英非文学 - 白皮书
  • He was in no hurry about implementing his unshakable principle. 他并不急于实行他那不可动摇的原则。 来自辞典例句
7 automobile rP1yv     
  • He is repairing the brake lever of an automobile.他正在修理汽车的刹车杆。
  • The automobile slowed down to go around the curves in the road.汽车在路上转弯时放慢了速度。
8 wreak RfYwC     
  • She had a burning desire to wreak revenge.她复仇心切。
  • Timid people always wreak their peevishness on the gentle.怯懦的人总是把满腹牢骚向温和的人发泄。
9 havoc 9eyxY     
  • The earthquake wreaked havoc on the city.地震对这个城市造成了大破坏。
  • This concentration of airborne firepower wrought havoc with the enemy forces.这次机载火力的集中攻击给敌军造成很大破坏。
10 evaluation onFxd     
  • I attempted an honest evaluation of my own life.我试图如实地评价我自己的一生。
  • The new scheme is still under evaluation.新方案还在评估阶段。
11 regained 51ada49e953b830c8bd8fddd6bcd03aa     
复得( regain的过去式和过去分词 ); 赢回; 重回; 复至某地
  • The majority of the people in the world have regained their liberty. 世界上大多数人已重获自由。
  • She hesitated briefly but quickly regained her poise. 她犹豫片刻,但很快恢复了镇静。
12 paradoxes 650bef108036a497745288049ec223cf     
n.似非而是的隽语,看似矛盾而实际却可能正确的说法( paradox的名词复数 );用于语言文学中的上述隽语;有矛盾特点的人[事物,情况]
  • Contradictions and paradoxes arose in increasing numbers. 矛盾和悖论越来越多。 来自辞典例句
  • As far as these paradoxes are concerned, the garden definitely a heterotopia. 就这些吊诡性而言,花园无疑地是个异质空间。 来自互联网
13 implemented a0211e5272f6fc75ac06e2d62558aff0     
v.实现( implement的过去式和过去分词 );执行;贯彻;使生效
  • This agreement, if not implemented, is a mere scrap of paper. 这个协定如不执行只不过是一纸空文。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • The economy is in danger of collapse unless far-reaching reforms are implemented. 如果不实施影响深远的改革,经济就面临崩溃的危险。 来自辞典例句
14 prescriptions f0b231c0bb45f8e500f32e91ec1ae602     
药( prescription的名词复数 ); 处方; 开处方; 计划
  • The hospital of traditional Chinese medicine installed a computer to fill prescriptions. 中医医院装上了电子计算机来抓药。
  • Her main job was filling the doctor's prescriptions. 她的主要工作就是给大夫开的药方配药。
15 disinterested vu4z6s     
  • He is impartial and disinterested.他公正无私。
  • He's always on the make,I have never known him do a disinterested action.他这个人一贯都是唯利是图,我从来不知道他有什么无私的行动。
16 adulatory 814dadaf02ac993627e3dcc907b2fc65     
adj. 谄媚的, 奉承的, 阿谀的
  • Many of these adulatory characterizations were attributed to unnamed sources. 在这些献媚取宠的特写当中,很多材料来源不清。
  • Husband (one face is adulatory) : Hey, do not want to eat. 老公(一脸谄媚):嘿嘿,不想吃。