Evaluate the persuasiveness of the Magretta (1998) and Rosenthal (2013) articles using the concepts outlined in Chapter 6 of the Critical Thinking… text. Be sure to outline which aspects you find particularly persuasive and which elements you find less persuasive, and why.
Are You Convinced?
Rosenthal presents an interview regarding the kind of accounting done in slaveholding plantations during the 19th century. According to Rosenthal slaves were regarded as capital by plantation owners. In this regard, they could be depreciated during the accounting process. Rosenthal sounds devastated by the thought of a human being considering other human beings as capital which could lose value. There was mishandling of slaves as human, where slaves were not valued or treated as human1. This perspective made the plantation owners dehumanize the impacts of a strong focus on efficiency. Rosenthal was persuasive by trying to demonstrate why she assumed her current stand regarding plantation owners’ take on slaves based on their accounting records. Her argument is backed by evidence of accounting books which were meant for a different purpose, but which Rosenthal now uses as evidence against the plantation owners. However, this same evidence can be used by rivals to argue that labor efficiency determined the level of production. Having no machinery to consider in this case, a decline in individual salve efficiency meant reduction production. This made it easier for plantation owners to account for a reduction in productivity. Rosenthal argued this while anticipating challenges from individuals with opposing viewpoints. Rosenthal anticipated counter-argument, whereby it can be argued that based on the time the book recording was done in the early 19th century, there were no better methods to keep farm records. This is what plantation owners considered best and they had no intention of dehumanizing or devaluing the slaves. Rosenthal anticipates a challenge to prove that for real the accounting method used by plantations owners dehumanized the slaves by regarding them not as laborers but as capital that could depreciate. Based on these perspectives, the Rosenthal article can be regarded to be persuasive3.
Magretta focuses on Li & Fung’s company and its specialization in the supply chain. According to the interview, Li & Fung break up the value chain to optimize every component of the value chain and the entire supply chain. The company customizes the value chain to address the needs of its customers. Although Li & Fung does not own a factor, it manages to work with factories in the front by designing and controlling quality and end value chain by packaging and enhancing logistics. The factories which are quite a number are involved in the production process based on provided designed and with the requirement to fulfill the required quality measures2. Magretta offers facts regarding the operations in Li & Fung’s. It is considerably hard to counter Magretta as most of the things said are not assessment or opinion of a situation that happened, but a narration of a fact. Magretta can be considered to be less persuasive since she does not anticipate objections. The fact gives shows the Li & Fung efforts in sustaining their business and keeping it afloat in changing time3. Their measures made it possible for the business to survive. There is no negative evidence that a reader can use to counter Magretta’s findings. The evidence is clear in support of how Li & Fu developed the value chain to earn a global position. Based on the two articles Rosenthal article can be regarded to be more persuasive compared to Magretta’s article, which is more facts-based.
- Rosenthal, C. Plantations practiced modern management. Harvard Business Review [online]. 2013 [cited 2019 Nov 7]. Available from: https://hbr.org/2013/09/plantations-practiced-modern-management
- Magretta, J. Fast, global, and entrepreneurial: Supply chain management, Hong King style. Harvard Business Review [online]. 1998 [cited 2019 Nov 7]. Available from: https://hbr.org/1998/09/fast-global-and-entrepreneurial-supply-chain-management-hong-kong-style
- Dyer, L. Critical thinking for business students. Captus Press; 2006.