I. Explain the following word-combinations and phrases 


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I. Explain the following word-combinations and phrases



1. to tread water

2. to strive

3. to reduce the process to a grading system

4. «People do not conform to grids.»

5. «These (complex human resources operations) only attract people who love complicated forms and committee structures - the ‘anoraks’ of the business world.»

 

II. Translate the following sentences:

1. Часто вопрос заработной платы рассматривается лишь как внутренняя проблема компании, хотя она является неотъемлемой составляющей стратегии фирмы.

2. Из-за недостатка информации трудно сравнить размер вознаграждения, получаемого

руководителем высшего звена в американских и европейских компаниях

3. Результаты некоторых исследований свидетельствуют о том, что заработная плата

директора английской компании сравнима с заработной платой директора

европейской компании и ниже того, что получает руководитель американской

компании.

4. В значительной степени заработок руководителя американской компании зависит от

результатов деятельности фирмы.

5. На смену небольшим отделам кадров пришли огромные отделы по работе с персоналом, постоянно разрабатывающие новые системы аттестации.

6. Система аттестации лишает работника стимулов для более плодотворной работы. Кроме того, она не учитывает, что каждый служащий компании - это член команды, которая производит товары и услуги.

7. Успешно функционирующие компании не прибегают к слепому копированию

корпоративной стратегии своих конкурентов.

 

III. Summarize the contents of the following article; explain the meaning of the proverb:

“To pull the rabbit out of the hat.”

Markets Eye Management, But Don't Often

Reveal A Specific Price Tag

By Sara Callian Staff Reporter


LONDON - It isn't easy to put a price tag on a chief executive officer. But CEOs add an underlying value to a stock price that is part perception and part reality.

Cautious fund managers won't go near a bad management team. But the cult of the CEO is still more of a concept than a concrete price, analysts and fund man­agers say. Personality can only go so far. Investors want results in terms of solid profits and strong cash flow, and that, after all, is what a CEO's reputation is built on.

"It is difficult to quantify, but there is no doubt that a CEO value exists in the market," says Lorna Tilbian, a stock-mar­ket analyst with Panmure Gordon. "Good management can make money in a bad sit­uation, but bad management can't even make money in a good situation."

There aren't any spread sheets or for­mulas to calculate the value of an execu­tive, analysts say. "Strong management would lead to premium ratings and weak management would lead to discounts in the market,” says James Golob, an analyst with Deutsche Bank “It is impossible to pick up any stock rating and say what percent is tied to the chief executive."

James Cornish, a market strategist with BT Alex. Brown, says investors don't look too closely at the value of a CEO when valuing the overall market. "The market is more involved with looking at fundamentals when it comes to putting a valuation on a stock," he says. Mr. Cornish says that one way CEOs are valued by the market place is in how they are compensated. European companies are increasingly adopting the popular U.S. practice of compensating CEOs through stock options, which gives them an extra incentive to raise the companies' share prices.

"The market likes the idea of CEOs being motivated by their wish to have the share price going up," Mr. Cornish says. "But the market doesn't want them to get too much of the goodies." He says investors become nervous if the CEOs have such large option packages that it takes value away from the shareholders.

There are usually only two times during a chief executive's reign that the stock market's valuation emerges from the mists of conjecture. "You can only see what a CEO is worth on the day he joins or leaves a company," Mr. Golob jokes, noting, "There's a lot of value in having someone you respect and trust."

When Franco Bernabe was appointed chief of Telecom Italia in November, the stock soared. “The shares rose 6% to 8% on the day before the announcement because there was a rumor in the market that he was coming," Mr. Golob says. "And then the stock went up another 5% when the announcement came."

But skeptics of the CEO cult spell it out more clearly. "We don't believe in cult followings for individuals," says David Stevenson, a European fund manager for Scottish Value Management in Edinburgh. "We fall into the camp that good management can make a contribution to a good business. But if you are in the wrong businesses,


good management can't pull a rabbit out of the hat."

Mr. Stevenson says that when fund managers buy stocks, they buy businesses. "A business has to stack up on its own right," he says. "With a very big business we believe it is more of a danger for one individual to dominate to such an extent."

He says that good businesses should have a good board of directors and solid management teams. Mr. Stevenson points out the problems that Barclays Bank PLC had even with vaunted CEO Martin Taylor, who resigned last year.

"It's not healthy to have a wonder boy in an organization," Mr. Stevenson says. "Especially in a bank where the business should run on a consensus basis. It's not a place for an overweight personality.

This is true of many businesses.”


 

The Wall Street Journal Europe

IV. Do not read the article yet. Look at the headline and try to guess the possible answers. Then read

The article and say how your guesses differ from the facts of the American life.

For Overtime, Your Money or Your Lifestyle?

By Sana Sivolop Nerw York Times Service By

 

NEW YORK — Quick. Which would you prefer for your overtime work: time off later or the extra pay today?

If you are an employee paid by the hour, a labor poll suggests that you would rather have the money.

But in the best of all possible worlds, wouldn't you want to havethe choice? Then you could take the money at Christmas, when you had extra bills topay, and time off in the spring, when you may want to take care of personal matters or attend a child's soccer game.

Simple as the idea sounds, U.S. legislation that would allow many employees to choose how they are compensated if they work more than 40 hours a week has not met with universal praise.

The House of Representatives passed a bill in late July that would allow hourly workers, with the consent of their employers, to take one and a half hours in compensatory time for each hour of overtime worked. A similar bill is pending in a Senate committee.

Organized labor fears that the time-off provision would ultimately cut into -the paychecks of many workers — particularly unskilled, low-wage earners — who are now paid for their overtime.

Rather than gaining a choice, workers might be coerced into taking time off at some future date instead of getting the money now, labor leaders say.

The Women's Legal Defense Fund in Washington also has some reservations. Donna Lenhoff, general counsel for the fund, said the group supported more workplace flexibility. But, she said, "Working women can't afford to have the flexibility come at the expense of their paychecks."

At stake is much money and time. Overtime accounted for 15 percent of the pay of the average American manufacturing worker last year. On average, such workers now clock 4.4 hours of overtime a week, compared with 2.5 in 1960, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Many companies permit employees to work their 40 hours a week when they choose, a concept known as flexible or flex time. Workers, for example, may opt to start at 7, 9 or 11A.M., or to compress their 40 hours into four days.

This summer, a group of Republican congresswomen began to promote the concept of "comp time for overtime" as a way to ease time pressures on working women.

The wall Street Journal Europe

V. Summarize the contents of the article below; say what the origin of the headline is and

explain its meaning; comment on the pun

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS



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