Solution Manual
Book Title
Business Communication: Process and Product 8th Edition

978-1285094069 Chapter 12 Solution Manual

June 18, 2019
Answers to Chapter Review Questions
1. What are the advantages of tables? (Obj. 1)
Tables usually help researchers summarize and simplify data. Using columns and rows,
2. Calculate the mean, median, and mode for these figures: 4, 12, 12, 12, 20. (Obj. 1)
The mean, or average, is 12 (divide the total by the number of units); the median is 12 (the
3. What are correlations? (Obj. 1)
In tabulating and analyzing data, you may see relationships among two or more variables
4. Why is a decision matrix a valuable managerial tool? (Obj. 1)
A decision matrix is valuable because it establishes criteria and assigns weights to each
5. How can you make your report conclusions as objective and bias-free as possible?
(Obj. 2)
You can make your report conclusions more objective by using consistent evaluation
6. What is the difference between conclusions and recommendations, and what do
business readers expect from a report writer’s recommendations? (Obj. 2)
Conclusions explain what the problem is, whereas recommendations tell how to solve it.
7. Name five methods for organizing report data. Be prepared to discuss each. (Obj. 3)
Five methods for organizing report data are as follows:
1. Time: Establishing a chronology of events.
8. What three devices can report writers use to prevent readers from getting lost in the
text? (Obj. 3)
Report writers can use the following to prevent readers from getting lost:
a. An introduction that explains the report purpose and previews main points
9. Explain three types of report headings as well as their characteristics and uses.
(Obj. 3)
Functional headings. Functional headings (such as Introduction, Background, and
Findings) show the outline of a report but provide little insight for readers. Functional
Combination headings. With some planning, headings can be both functional and talking;
10. Name at least four guidelines for creating effective headings, and be prepared to
explain them. (Obj. 3)
a. Use appropriate heading levels. The position and format of a heading indicate its level
b. Capitalize and underline carefully. Most writers identify main titles by opting for all capital
c. Try to balance headings within levels. Attempt to create headings that are
d. For short reports use first-level or first-level and second-level headings. Because most
e. Include at least one heading per report page. Headings increase the readability and
f. Keep headings short but clear. One-word headings are emphatic but not always clear.
11. Name typical short informational reports and their overall purpose. (Obj. 4)
Informational reports often describe periodic, recurring activities (such as monthly sales or
weekly customer calls) as well as situational, nonrecurring events (such as trips,
12. What should progress reports include? (Obj. 4)
Progress reports should include the purpose and nature of the project, background
13. When is the indirect strategy appropriate for justification/recommendation reports?
(Obj. 5)
14. What is a feasibility report? Are such reports generally intended for internal or
external audiences? (Obj. 5)
A feasibility report examines the practicality and advisability of following a particular
15. What are digital slide decks, and why are they becoming popular? (Obj. 5)
In addition to print, many business writers deliver their reports as digital slideshows called
slide decks. These slides can be sent by e-mail, embedded on the Web, or posted on a
Answers to Critical Thinking Questions
1. Paid survey sites such as Opinion Outpost and Ipsos i-Say offer gift cards and cash
rewards to users for taking surveys about retailers, services, and products.
MySurvey.com, Toluna.com, and others are even social networks. Users register, create
a profile, and submit opinion surveys to earn points. How would you rate the value and
credibility of such survey results? (Obj. 1)
Although many of the commercial survey panels are legitimate and include
by-invitation-only market research veterans such as PineCone Research, a Nielsen Company
subsidiary, some are scams. The bogus sites tend to gather thousands of e-mail addresses,
The quality of the surveys depends on how well the questionnaire is constructed and whether
2. When tabulating and analyzing data, you may discover relationships among two or
more variables that help explain the findings. Can you trust these correlations and
assume that their relationship is one of cause and effect? (Obj. 1)
Our intuition sometimes suggests correlations that may or may not be correct. The business
researcher who sees a correlation begins to ask why and how the two variables are related.
3. How can you increase your chances that your report recommendations will be
implemented? (Obj. 2)
Reports that consider the audience’s needs and offer specific, practical recommendations are
most likely to succeed. How specific and forceful your recommendations can be depends on
4. What are the major differences between informational and
analytical reports? (Objs. 4, 5)
Analytical reports differ significantly from informational reports. Although both seek to
5. Ethical Issue: You have learned that drawing conclusions involves subjectivity, although
your goal is to remain objective. Even the most even-handed researchers bring their
goals, background, and frame of reference to bear on the inferences they make.
Consider the contentious issue of climate change. Most mainstream scientists now
believe climate change to be real and induced by human activity. However, some
scientists cast doubt on the extent to which global warming is human-made and
constitutes an imminent threat. How can something objectively measurable be so
contentious? (Obj. 2)
The problem with climate change is that it is a very complex issue. Not only does it involve
highly complicated scientific data and measurements, but it also raises far-reaching political,
social, and economic questions. The climate change debate illustrates nicely that even
Starbucks: The Global Chain That Wants to Remain “a Neighborhood
Gathering Place”
Critical Thinking
What kind of information should Starbucks gather to help it decide whether and how to
introduce a new product to avoid pitfalls such as the failed Sorbetto beverage?
The introduction of a new product such as the Sorbetto beverage usually happens in stages
and is accompanied by market research. Starbucks would want to know what people thought
of the potential product. Surveys would establish whether there was interest in the new
A chastened Howard Schultz learned from the Sorbetto fiasco. He wanted to go after the
$20 billion instant coffee market, but he also knew that many people hated instant coffee, and
Starbucks would need to counter entrenched negative perceptions. Starbucks developed Via
How could Howard Schultz test his assumption that the intimate communal
coffee-drinking experience is intact at Starbucks?
Of course, sales numbers are telling indicators. When sales drop, all potential causes of the
dip must be explored. If Howard Schultz wants to know whether his concept of a unique
neighborhood experience still holds up, this type of research would call for wide-ranging
customer and barista (employee) surveys. First, a small pilot study could help test a
How can collected information be transmitted to Starbucks’ decision makers?
Information collected from surveys and other sources is generally transmitted to
organization decision makers in written reports or oral presentations. Staff members
Your Turn: Applying Your Skills at Starbucks
The assignment calls for a feasibility report. The researchers could study media coverage of
Starbucks’ latest foray into “greening” its operations. The company has a long-standing interest
As an alternative to a feasibility report, students could be asked to explore one of
A proposal or business plan could also be assigned requiring students to research Starbucks’
Ethics Check Solutions
Ethics Check, Page 420
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz explains his company’s Shared Planet initiative: “We feel
now is the time to invest—truly and authentically—in ways to help create a better future
for the world we share.” Starbucks also teamed up with Product Red, the global anti-AIDS
project spearheaded by U2’s front man and activist Bono. The coffee chain wishes to
pursue its vision of community involvement, commitment to the environment, and ethical
sourcing of coffee. Do you view favorably companies that are “green” and wish to appear
ethical? Do such considerations influence your buying decisions?
Students could look at Starbucks’ website and read the mission statement, code of conduct, and
annual Global Responsibility Reports. Ask students if they are aware of other companies that
have a strong environmental bent or emphasize corporate responsibility. Apple Inc., Gap,
Ethics Check, Page 441
Is This $100 Bill Yours?
Purchasing managers at Frito-Lay, Safeway, and B&G Foods have pleaded guilty to taking
bribes that led to tainted foods purchased at inflated prices. Company officials relied on
false reports and documentation supplied by their managers. How did food suppliers know
whom to bribe? New Jersey businessman and food broker Randall Rahal said he could
guess who would be susceptible to bribery by dropping a $100 bill on the floor, then picking
it up and saying, “You must have dropped this. Is it yours?” Is this a good test?
Most students will probably agree that an inherently dishonest person would see an opportunity
to make a buck and claim the $100 bill, whereas really honest people would never dream of
claiming something that is not theirs. In this case Mr. Rahal pleaded guilty to racketeering, price
Photo Essay Solutions
Photo Essay, Page 423
Correlations may or may not prove to be accurate. The business researcher who sees a
correlation needs to ask why and how the two variables are related. In this way, apparent
correlations stimulate investigation and present possible solutions to be explored. When
reporting correlations, business communicators should avoid suggesting that a cause-and-effect
Photo Essay, Page 437
Most businesses require periodic reports to keep stakeholders informed of operations. These
recurring reports are written at regular intervals—weekly, monthly, yearly—so that individuals
can monitor business strategies and, if necessary, remedy any problems. Some periodic reports

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