The following is a memorandum from the director of personnel to the president of Get-Away Airlines.

  "Since our mechanics are responsible for inspecting and maintaining our aircraft, Get-Away Airlines should pay to send them to the Quality-Care Seminar, a two-week seminar on proper maintenance procedures. I recommend this seminar because it is likely to be a wise investment, given that the automobile racing industry recently reported that the performance of its maintenance crews improved markedly after their crews had attended the seminar. These maintenance crews perform many of the same functions as do our mechanics, including refueling and repairing engines. The money we spend on sending our staff to the seminar will inevitably lead to improved maintenance and thus to greater customer satisfaction along with greater profits for our airline."

  [Sample Essay]

  The director of personnel for Get - Away airlines has not made a very persuasive argument for sending the company's employees to the Quality - Care Seminar in his or her letter to the president of the company. Maybe the personnel director has not thoroughly investigated this particular seminar, as there are holes in the logic used to try to persuade the president to pay to send the mechanics to this two-week seminar.

  First of all, the personnel director has stated that the seminar "is likely to be a wise investment" but then bases that assumption on a report from the automobile racing industry that their maintenance crews' performances had improved after attending the seminar. The letter does not state exactly what the seminar entails or whether it is specific to the proper maintenance procedures of any particular type of machine. It would be helpful had the personnel director explained in more detail the content of the Quality - Care seminar and whether it is aimed at automobiles or whether aircraft are included at all. The mechanics must learn something of value that will help them inspect and maintain the airline's fleet of aircraft. For the seminar to be a wise investment, the net productivity and income gains must outweigh the cost of the seminar. There is no evidence to show that this is the case.

  Secondly, because the personnel director refers only to a report by the automobile racing industry, it seems probable that the seminar is specific to only that highly specialized industry. It is likely that there would be no clear correlation between the duties of the maintenance crews of an airline and the maintenance crews of an automobile built for racing. The fundamental purposes behind the two types of maintenance crews are clearly different. An automobile racing maintenance crew strives to create and maintain the fastest machine possible to enable its driver to cross the finish line in first place. An aircraft maintenance crew is devoted to ensuring that the airplane can fly safely in an efficient manner to transport people and cargo crew from one place to another. Speed is the main focus of the racecar industry while cost and safety are the main focuses of an airline.

  Additionally, the personnel director suggests that the automotive racing industry maintenance crews perform many of the same functions as do the airline's mechanics, "including refueling and repairing engines". Although in name these functions are similar, they are in actuality performed in very different manners with different purposes in mind. For example, refueling in the racing industry is done as quickly as possible in order to get the racecar driver back on the track immediately. Certainly care is taken to ensure safety but again it is speed that is the number one priority. Refueling an airplane does not have to be done in the shortest time possible. The safety of passengers and cargo is the top priority. Similarly, the repairing of engines differs in that the faulty repair of a car engine may lead to losing the race, but the faulty repair of an airplane engine may result in an aircraft falling from the sky with disastrous consequences. Chances or shortcuts that might be taken with an automotive engine cannot be performed on an aircraft engine.

  Finally, the personnel director refers to the inevitability of improved maintenance thus leading to greater customer satisfaction and therefore greater profits. This is a possible chain of events, certainly not an inevitable progression. In addition to the previously noted flaws in logic, merely spending money to send the staff to the seminar will not guarantee the stated "inevitable" benefits. It is possible that even if the seminar directly addresses aircraft maintenance and repair, the company's mechanics may already know everything that is presented, thus no improvement in maintenance will be gained. Maybe the mechanics will spend more time at the nightclubs in the area and not learn anything from the knowledge that is presented.

  Furthermore, there is no direct correlation between improved maintenance and increased customer satisfaction, let alone an increase in profits. Aircraft maintenance is necessarily a "behind the scenes" activity that customers rarely notice, barring some catastrophic failure. It is doubtful that improved maintenance would lead to any recognizable increase in customer satisfaction. Additionally, customers may already be completely satisfied with Get - Away's services, thus no greater profits are possible from increasing customer satisfaction.

  It is entirely possible that the personnel director's commitment to send the airline company's mechanics would indeed lead to the benefits that he or she has stated in the letter to the president. If the seminar does directly address maintenance and repair issues that actually would help the mechanics to improve the performance of their work duties, it is possible that the airline would see an increase in their efficiency and productivity. But barring some extrinsic evidence that is not included in the personnel director's letter, there are not enough facts stated to allow the president of Get - Away Airlines to make an informed decision on whether to send the mechanics to the Quality - Care seminar.








  其次,由于人事主管仅提及赛车行业的一份报告,则该培训班很有可能仅专门针对这一高度专业化的行业。在航空公司维修人员与赛车行业维修人员的职责之间,可能毫无明显的联系。这两类维修人员背后的根本目的显然不同。赛车维修人员力图去造就并维护一部最大限度快速行驶的机器,以便使其驾驶员第一个冲进终点。飞机维修人员致力于确保飞机能以一种有效的方式安全飞行,将人与货物从一地运输至另一地。速度是赛车的主要目标,而成本与安全则是航空公司的主要目标。 此外,人事主管表示,赛车业维修人员所从事的许多职能与航空公司的机师相同,"包括加油和修理引擎"。虽然从名称上看,这些职能相似,但实际上它们是以极为不同的方式完成的,目标也全然不同。例如,赛车业中的加油需尽快完成,以便让赛车手立刻重返赛道。当然,人们会小心行事以确保安全,但速度在这里再度成为压倒一切的因素。给飞机加油无须在最短时间内完成。旅客和货物的安全才是重中之重。同样,两者修理引擎也不尽相同,因为汽车引擎修理失误,所导致的是比赛的败北。但飞机引擎修理失误,将会导致飞机自高空中坠毁,造成灾难性后果。在修理汽车引擎时可能采用的碰运气或走捷径的做法,是断不能在飞机引擎上上演的。 最后,人事主管提到维修水平将不可避免得以提高,从而导致更大的客户满意度,并因此增加利润。这只能算是一种有可能的事件之链,但肯定不是一种不可避免的事态演变。除了上述所指出的逻辑缺陷以外,仅仅花钱派遣人员前去参加培训班并不能保证人事主管所陈述的那些"理所当然的"益处。即使培训班有可能是直接针对飞机的保修与维修,但公司的机师可能就早已掌握了培训班所要讲授的知识,因而不可能实现维修水准的提高。机师们也有可能将更多的时间耗费在当地的夜总会里,从所教授的知识中一无所获。