American companies may find the solution to their performance-related problems in their own backyard.

American companies may find the solution to their performance related problems in their own backyard. A recently conducted independent study shows that in the business world, social and political skills have become the real key to getting ahead in organisations, skills that successful managers use to their advantage. The study found out that successful managers, those who get promoted relatively quickly vis-à-vis effective managers, perform day to day activities that are more or less dissimilar to the ones conducted by effective managers or those who have satisfied, committed subordinates, in addition to high performing units. Accordingly, it comes as no surprise that networking, which consists of socializing or politicking and interacting with others, was one activity that, out of the core four activities among the plethora of activities performed by managers, topped the list for successful managers but was ranked the lowest in the list of activities performed by the effective ones. Indeed the findings of the study do not negate the reality that there are managers who strike a balance between the activities performed by both types of managers and hence are successful and effective at the same time, but the meagre percentage such managers formed of the study’s sample, barely ten percent, affirms the general divide between successful and effective managers.

These findings clearly belie the traditional assumption typically suggested by formal personnel policies that promotions are based purely on performance. In effect, the study’s implications affirm the cynical, yet what now seems real, view that people who are not necessarily the most accomplishing in terms of performing well in the other three key activity areas, namely communication, traditional management, and human resource management, are being promoted to the top level. Therefore, American companies looking to improve their performance and productivity need to ensure that formal rewards, especially promotions, are tied to performance. This way companies will be promoting a work-culture that turns effective managers in to successful managers and gives the currently successful managers a chance to effectively focus on productivity and not just on socializing and politicking.

1. Each of the following can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT

A. Managers in general perform some activities that are more important than others.
B. Successful managers are inherently good at networking whereas effective managers are not.
C. Some managers do not fit exclusively in one of the two categories.
D. Some company policies are inconsistent with the actual workings of the company.
E. American companies looking to enhance their performance must look within their set-up for scope of improvement.

2. The author is primarily concerned with

A. discussing a trend and its implications
B. criticising some companies for an unfair practice followed by them
C. evaluating a situation and warning against its possible implications
D. describing the findings of a study
E. uncovering the gap between the perception and the reality of a situation

3. Which of the following is mentioned in the passage?

A. Socializing and politicking are activities not worthy of a manager’s time.
B. The study’s findings shed light on many unstated assumptions that are part of some of the policies followed by American companies.
C. Out of the four core activities, it is communication in which effective managers perform the best.
D. There is a gap between what appraisal-related policies suggest and what the actual case is.
E. American companies looking to improve their performance and productivity need to ensure that the most effective managers are also promoted once in a while.

4. Which of the following most aptly describes the function of the second paragraph?

A. To criticize the false picture companies portray with respect to appraisals
B. To close the gap between perception and reality
C. To take forward the discussion on the strict measures American companies need to take
D. To discuss the implications of a study