Tổng hợp topic Business (Advertising, Marketing, Media…) IELTS READING (PDF)(Phần 2)

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II. Tổng hợp topic Business (Advertising, Marketing, Media…) IELTS READING (PDF) (Phần 2)

14. Bài 14

Motivational factors and the hospitality industry

A critical ingredient in the success of hotels is developing and maintaining superior performance from their employees. How is that accomplished? What Human Resource Management (HRM) practices should organizations invest in to acquire and retain great employees?

Some hotels aim to provide superior working conditions for their employees. The idea originated from workplaces – usually in the non-service sector – that emphasized fun and enjoyment as part of work-life balance. By contrast, the service sector, and more specifically hotels, has traditionally not extended these practices to address basic employee needs, such as good working conditions.

Pfeffer (1994) emphasizes that in order to succeed in a global business environment, organizations must make investment in Human Resource Management (HRM) to allow them to acquire employees who possess better skills and capabilities than their competitors. This investment will be to their competitive advantage. Despite this recognition of the importance of employee development, the hospitality industry has historically been dominated by underdeveloped HR practices (Lucas, 2002). 

Lucas also points out that ‘the substance of HRM practices does not appear to be designed to foster constructive relations with employees or to represent a managerial approach that enables developing and drawing out the full potential of people, even though employees  may be broadly satisfied with many aspects of their work’ (Lucas, 2002). In addition, or maybe as a result, high employee turnover has been a recurring problem throughout the hospitality industry. Among the many cited reasons are low compensation, inadequate benefits, poor working conditions and compromised employee morale and attitudes (Maroudas et al., 2008). 

Ng and Sorensen (2008) demonstrated that when managers provide recognition to employees, motivate employees to work together, and remove obstacles preventing effective performance, employees feel more obligated to stay with the company. This was succinctly summarized by Michel et al. (2013): ‘[P]roviding support to employees gives them the confidence to perform their jobs better and the motivation to stay with the organization.’ Hospitality organizations can therefore enhance employee motivation and retention through the development and improvement of their working conditions. These conditions are inherently linked to the working environment. 

While it seems likely that employees’ reactions to their job characteristics could be affected by a predisposition to view their work environment negatively, no evidence exists to support this hypothesis (Spector et al., 2000). However, given the opportunity, many people will find something to complain about in relation to their workplace (Poulston, 2009). There is a strong link between the perceptions of employees and particular factors of their work environment that are separate from the work itself, including company policies, salary and vacations.

Such conditions are particularly troubling for the luxury hotel market, where high-quality service, requiring a sophisticated approach to HRM, is recognized as a critical source of competitive advantage (Maroudas et al., 2008). In a real sense, the services of hotel employees represent their industry (Schneider and Bowen, 1993). This representation has commonly been limited to guest experiences. This suggests that there has been a dichotomy between the guest environment provided in luxury hotels and the working conditions of their employees. 

It is therefore essential for hotel management to develop HRM practices that enable them to inspire and retain competent employees. This requires an understanding of what motivates employees at different levels of management and different stages of their careers (Enz and Siguaw, 2000). This implies that it is beneficial for hotel managers to understand what practices are most favorable to increase employee satisfaction and retention. 

Herzberg (1966) proposes that people have two major types of needs, the first being extrinsic motivation factors relating to the context in which work is performed, rather than the work itself. These include working conditions and job security. When these factors are unfavorable, job dissatisfaction may result. Significantly, though, just fulfilling these needs does not result in satisfaction, but only in the reduction of dissatisfaction (Maroudas et al., 2008). 

Employees also have intrinsic motivation needs or motivators, which include such factors as achievement and recognition. Unlike extrinsic factors, motivator factors may ideally result in job satisfaction (Maroudas et al., 2008). Herzberg’s (1966) theory discusses the need for a ‘balance’ of these two types of needs. 

The impact of fun as a motivating factor at work has also been explored. For example, Tews, Michel and Stafford (2013) conducted a study focusing on staff from a chain of themed restaurants in the United States. It was found that fun activities had a favorable impact on performance and manager support for fun had a favorable impact in reducing turnover. Their findings support the view that fun may indeed have a beneficial effect, but the framing of that fun must be carefully aligned with both organizational goals and employee characteristics. ‘Managers must learn how to achieve the delicate balance of allowing employees the freedom to enjoy themselves at work while simultaneously high levels of performance’ (Tews et al., 2013). 

Deery (2008) has recommended several actions that can be adopted at the organizational level to retain good staff as well as assist in balancing work and family life. Those particularly appropriate to the hospitality industry include allowing adequate breaks during the working day, staff functions that involve families, and providing health and well-being opportunities. 

Questions 27-31

Look at the following statements (Questions 27-31) and the list of researchers below. Match each statement with the correct researcher, A-F. Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

NB  You may use any letter more than once.

27.   Hotel managers need to know what would encourage good staff to remain.

28.   The actions of managers may make staff feel they shouldn’t move to a different employer.

29.   Little is done in the hospitality industry to help workers improve their skills.

30.   Staff are less likely to change jobs if cooperation is encouraged.

31.   Dissatisfaction with pay is not the only reason why hospitality workers change jobs.

List of Researchers

A.   Pfeffer
B.   Lucas
C.   Maroudas et al.
D.   Ng and Sorensen
E.   Enz and Siguaw
F.   Deery

Questions 32-35

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 32-35 on your answer sheet, write:

YES                  if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

NO                   if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN    if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

32.   One reason for high staff turnover in the hospitality industry is poor morale.

33.   Research has shown that staff have a tendency to dislike their workplace.

34.   An improvement in working conditions and job security makes staff satisfied with their jobs.

35.   Staff should be allowed to choose when they take breaks during the working day.

Questions 36-40

Complete the summary below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 36-40 on your answer sheet.

Fun at work

Tews, Michel and Stafford carried out research on staff in an American chain of 36…………… . They discovered that activities designed for staff to have fun improved their 37…………………… , and that management involvement led to lower staff 38 ………………….. . They also found that the activities needed to fit with both the company’s 39 ……………….. and the 40 ………. of the staff. A balance was required between a degree of freedom and maintaining work standards.

15. Bài 15

Questions 27-34
Reading Passage 3 has eight sections, A-H. Choose the correct heading for each section from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i-ix, in boxes 27-34 on your answer sheet.

List of Headings

i. Complaints about the impact of a certain approach

ii. Fundamental beliefs that are in fact incorrect

iii. Early recommendations concerning business activities

iv. Organisations that put a new approach into practice

v. Companies that have suffered from changing their approach

vi. What people are increasingly expected to do

vii. How to achieve outcomes that are currently impossible

viii. Neither approach guarantees continuous improvement

ix. Evidence that a certain approach can have more disadvantages that advantages
27. Section A

28. Section B

29. Section C

30. Section D

31. Section E

32. Section F

33. Section G

34. Section H

Why companies should welcome disorder

A. Organisation is big business. Whether it is of our lives – all those inboxes and calendars – or how companies are structured, a multi-billion dollar industry helps to meet this need.

We have more strategies for time management, project management and self-organisation than at any other time in human history. We are told that we ought to organize our company, our home life, our week, our day and seven our sleep, all as a means to becoming more productive. Every week, countless seminars and workshops take place around the world to tell a paying public that they ought to structure their lives in order to achieve this.

This rhetoric has also crept into the thinking of business leaders and entrepreneurs, much to the delight of self-proclaimed perfectionists with the need to get everything right. The number of business schools and graduates has massively increased over the past 50 years, essentially teaching people how to organise well.

B. Ironically, however, the number of business that fail has also steadily increased. Work-related stress has increased. A large proportion of workers from all demographics claim to be dissatisfied with the way their work is structured and the way they are managed.

This begs the question: what has gone wrong? Why is it that on paper the drive for organisation seems a sure shot for increasing productivity, but in reality falls well short of what is expected?

C. This has been a problem for a while now. Frederick Taylor was one of the forefathers of scientific management. Writing in the first half of the 20th century, he designed a number of principles to improve the efficiency of the work process, which have since become widespread in modern companies. So the approach has been around for a while.

D. New research suggests that this obsession with efficiency is misguided. The problem is not necessarily the management theories or strategies we use to organise our work; it’s the basic assumptions we hold in approaching how we work. Here it’s the assumption that order is a necessary condition for productivity. This assumption has also fostered the idea that disorder must be detrimental to organizational productivity. The result is that businesses and people spend time and money organising themselves for the sake of organising, rather than actually looking at the end goal and usefulness of such an effort.

E. What’s more, recent studies show that order actually has diminishing returns. Order does increase productivity to a certain extent, but eventually the usefulness of the process of organisation, and the benefit it yields, reduce until the point where any further increase in order reduces productivity. Some argue that in a business, if the cost of formally structuring something outweighs the benefit of doing it, then that thing ought not to be formally structured. Instead, the resources involved can be better used elsewhere.

F. In fact, research shows that, when innovating, the best approach is to create an environment devoid of structure and hierarchy and enable everyone involved to engage as one organic group. These environments can lead to new solutions that, under conventionally structured environments (filled with bottlenecks in term of information flow, power structures, rules, and routines) would never be reached.

G. In recent times companies have slowly started to embrace this disorganisation. Many of them embrace it in terms of perception (embracing the idea of disorder, as opposed to fearing it) and in terms of process (putting mechanisms in place to reduce structure).

For example, Oticon, a large Danish manufacturer of hearing aids, used what it called a ‘spaghetti’ structure in order to reduce the organisation’s rigid hierarchies. This involved scrapping formal job titles and giving staff huge amounts of ownership over their own time and projects. This approach proved to be highly successful initially, with clear improvements in worker productivity in all facets of the business.

In similar fashion, the former chairman of General Electric embraced disorganisation, putting forward the idea of the ‘boundaryless’ organisation. Again, it involves breaking down the barriers between different parts of a company and encouraging virtual collaboration and flexible working. Google and a number of other tech companies have embraced (at least in part) these kinds of flexible structures, facilitated by technology and strong company values which glue people together.

H. A word of warning to others thinking of jumping on this bandwagon: the evidence so far suggests disorder, much like order, also seems to have diminishing utility, and can also have detrimental effects on performance if overused. Like order, disorder should be embraced only so far as it is useful. But we should not fear it – nor venerate one over the other. This research also shows that we should continually question whether or not our existing assumptions work.

Questions 35-37
Complete the sentences below. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 35-37 on your answer sheet.

35. Numerous training sessions are aimed at people who feel they are not ………………………. enough.

36. Being organised appeals to people who regard themselves as ……………………………

37. Many people feel ……………………….. with aspects of their work.

Questions 38-40
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet, write:

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

38. Both businesses and people aim at order without really considering its value.

39. Innovation is most successful if the people involved have distinct roles.

40. Google was inspired to adopt flexibility by the success of General Electric.

16. Bài 16

Environmental practices of big businesses

The environmental practices of big businesses are shaped by a fundamental fact that for many of us offend our sense of justice. Depending on the circumstances, a business may maximize the amount of money it makes, at least in the short term, by damaging the environment and hurting people. That is still the case today for fishermen in an unmanaged fishery without quotas, and for international logging companies with short-term leases on tropical rainforest land in places with corrupt officials and unsophisticated landowners. When government regulation is effective, and when the public is environmentally aware, environmentally clean big businesses may out-compete dirty ones, but the reverse is likely to be true if government regulation is ineffective and if the public doesn’t care.

It is easy for the rest of us to blame a business for helping itself by hurting other people. But blaming alone is unlikely to produce change. It ignores the fact that businesses are not charities but profit-making companies, and that publicly owned companies with shareholders are under obligation to those shareholders to maximize profits, provided that they do so by legal means. US laws make a company’s directors legally liable for something termed ‘breach of fiduciary responsibility’ if they knowingly manage a company in a way that reduces profits. The car manufacturer Henry Ford was in fact successfully sued by shareholders in 1919 for raising the minimum wage of his workers to $5 per day: the courts declared that, while Ford’s humanitarian sentiments about his employees were nice, his business existed to make profits for its stockholders.

Our blaming of businesses also ignores the ultimate responsibility of the public for creating the condition that let a business profit through destructive environmental policies. In the long run, it is the public, either directly or through its politicians, that has the power to make such destructive policies unprofitable and illegal, and to make sustainable environmental policies profitable.

The public can do that by suing businesses for harming them, as happened after the Exxon Valdez disaster, in which over 40,000m3 of oil were spilled off the coast of Alaska. The public may also make their opinion felt by preferring to buy sustainably harvested products; by making employees of companies with poor track records feel ashamed of their company and complain to their own management; by preferring their governments to award valuable contracts to businesses with a good environmental track record; and by pressing their governments to pass and enforce laws and regulations requiring good environmental practices.

In turn, big businesses can expert powerful pressure on any suppliers that might ignore public or government pressure. For instance, after the US public became concerned about the spread of a disease known as BSE, which was transmitted to humans through infected meat, the US government’s Food and Drug Administration introduced rules demanding that the meat industry abandon practices associated with the risk of the disease spreading. But for five years the meat packers refused to follow these, claiming that they would be too expensive to obey. However, when a major fast-food company then made the same demands after customer purchases of its hamburgers plummeted, the meat industry complied within weeks. The public’s task is therefore to identify which links in the supply chain are sensitive to public pressure: for instance, fast-food chains or jewelry stores, but not meat packers or gold miners.

Some readers may be disappointed or outraged that I place the ultimate responsibility for business practices harming the public on the public itself. I also believe that the public must accept the necessity for higher prices for products to cover the added costs, if any, of sound environmental practices. My views may seem to ignore the belief that businesses should act in accordance with moral principles even if this leads to a reduction in their profits. But I think we have to recognize that, throughout human history, in all politically complex human societies, government regulation has arisen precisely because it was found that not only did moral principles need to be made explicit, they also needed to be enforced.

To me, the conclusion that the public has the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of even the biggest businesses is empowering and hopeful, rather than disappointing. My conclusion is not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy. In the past, businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn’t want. I predict that in the future, just as in the past, changes in public attitudes will be essential for changes in businesses’ environmental practices.

Questions 27-31
Complete the summary using the list of words, A-J, below. Write the correct letter, A-J, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

Big businesses

Many big businesses today are prepared to harm people and the environment in order to make money, and they appear to have no 27………………. . Lack of 28……………….. by governments and lack of public 29………………. can lead to environmental problems such as 30……………….. or the destruction of 31……………….

A. funding

B. trees

C. rare species

D. moral standards

E. control

F. involvement

G. flooding

H. overfishing

I. worker support

Question 32-34
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 32-34 on your answer sheet.
32. The main idea of the third paragraph is that environmental damage

A. requires political action if it is to be stopped.

B. is the result of ignorance on the part of the public.

C. could be prevented by the action of ordinary people.

D. can only be stopped by educating business leaders.
33. In the fourth paragraph, the writer describes ways in which the public can

A. reduce their own individual impact on the environment.

B. learn more about the impact of business of the environment.

C. raise awareness of the effects of specific environmental disasters.

D. influence the environmental policies of businesses and governments.
34. What pressure was exerted by big business in the case of the disease BSE?

A. Meat packers stopped supplying hamburgers to fast-food chains.

B. A fast-food company forced their meat suppliers to follow the law.

C. Meat packers persuaded the government to reduce their expenses.

D. A fast-food company encouraged the government to introduce legislation.

Questions 35-39
Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3? In boxes 35-39 on your answer sheet, write:

YES if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer

NO if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer

NOT GIVEN if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
35. The public should be prepared to fund good environmental practices.

36. There is a contrast between the moral principles of different businesses.

37. It is important to make a clear distinction between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

38. The public have successfully influenced businesses in the past.

39. In the future, businesses will show more concern for the environment.

Question 40
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in box 40 on your answer sheet.

40. What would be the best subheading for this passage?

A. Will the world survive the threat caused by big businesses?

B. How can big businesses be encouraged to be less driven by profit?

C. What environmental dangers are caused by the greed of businesses?

D. Are big businesses to blame for the damage they cause the environment?

17. Bài 17

The Penny Black

It might not have looked very impressive, but the Penny Black, now 170 years old, was the first stamp to be created and it launched the modem postal system in Britain.

Before 1840 and the arrival of the Penny Black, you had to be rich and patient to use the Royal Mail. Delivery was charged according to the miles travelled and the number of sheets of paper used; a 2-page letter sent from Edinburgh to London, for example, would have cost 2 shillings, or more than £7 in today’s money. And when the top-hatted letter carrier came to deliver it, it was the recipient who had to pay for the postage. Letter writers employed various ruses to reduce the cost, doing everything possible to cram more words onto a page. Nobody bothered with heavy envelopes; instead, letters would be folded and sealed with wax. You then had to find a post office - there were no pillar boxes - and hope your addressee didn't live in one of the several rural areas which were not served by the system. If you were lucky, your letter would arrive (it could take days) without being read or censored.

The state of mail had been causing concern throughout the 1830s, but it was Rowland Hill, an inventor, teacher and social reformer from Kidderminster, who proposed a workable plan for change. Worried that a dysfunctional, costly service would stifle communication just as Britain was in the swing of its second industrial revolution, he believed reform would ease the distribution of ideas and stimulate trade and business, delivering the same promise as the new railways.

Hill’s proposal for the penny post, which meant any letter weighing less than half an ounce (14 grams) could be sent anywhere in Britain for about 30p in today’s money, was so radical that the Postmaster General, Lord Lichfield, said, 'Of all the wild and visionary schemes which I ever heard of, it is the most extravagant.’ Lord Lichfield spoke for an establishment not convinced of the need for poor people to post anything. But merchants and reformers backed Hill. Soon the government told him to make his scheme work. And that meant inventing a new type of currency.

Hill quickly settled on 'a bit of paper covered at the back with a glutinous wash which the user might, by applying a little moisture, attach to the back of a letter’. Stamps would be printed in sheets of 240 that could be cut using scissors or a knife. Perforations would not arrive until 1854. The idea stuck, and in August 1839 the Treasury launched a design competition open to ‘all artists, men of science and the public in general’. The new stamp would need to be resistant to forgery, and so it was a submission by one Mr Cheverton that Hill used as the basis for one of the most striking designs in history. Cheverton, who worked as a sculptor and an engineer, determined that a portrait of Queen Victoria, engraved for a commemorative coin when she was a 15-year-old princess, was detailed enough to make copying difficult, and recognisable enough to make fakes easy to spot. The words ‘Postage’ and ‘One Penny’ were added alongside flourishes and ornamental stars. Nobody thought to add the word ‘Britain’, as it was assumed that the stamps would solely be put to domestic use.

With the introduction of the new postal system, the Penny Black was an instant hit, and printers struggled to meet demand. By the end of 1840, more than 160 million letters had been sent - more than double the previous year. It created more work for the post office, whose reform continued with the introduction of red letter boxes, new branches and more frequent deliveries, even to the remotest address, but its lasting impact on society was more remarkable.

Hill and his supporters rightly predicted that cheaper post would improve the ‘diffusion of knowledge’. Suddenly, someone in Scotland could be reached by someone in London within a day or two. And as literacy improved, sections of society that had been disenfranchised found a voice.

Tristram Hunt, an historian, values the ‘flourishing of correspondence’ that followed the arrival of stamps. ‘While I was writing my biography of Friedrich Engels I could read the letters he and Marx sent between Manchester and London,’ he says. ‘They wrote to each other three times a day, pinging ideas back and forth so that you can almost follow a real-time correspondence.’

The penny post also changed the nature of the letter. Weight-saving tricks such as cross-writing began to die out, while the arrival of envelopes built confidence among correspondents that mail would not be stolen or read. And so people wrote more private things - politically or commercially sensitive information or love letters. ‘In the early days of the penny post, there was still concern about theft,’ Hunt says. ‘Engels would still send Marx money by ripping up five-pound notes and sending the pieces in different letters.’ But the probity of the postal system became a great thing and it came to be expected that your mail would not be tampered with.

For all its brilliance, the Penny Black was technically a failure. At first, post offices used red ink to cancel stamps so that they could not be used again. But the ink could be removed. When in 1842, it was determined that black ink would be more robust, the colour of the Penny Black became a sort of browny red, but Hill’s brainchild had made its mark.

Questions 28-30
Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D. Write the correct letter in boxes 28-30 on your answer sheet.

28. One of the characteristics of the postal service before the 1840s was that

A. postmen were employed by various organisations.
B. letters were restricted to a certain length.
C. distance affected the price of postage.
D. the price of delivery kept going up.

29. Letter writers in the 1830s

A. were not responsible for the cost of delivery.
B. tried to fit more than one letter into an envelope.
C. could only send letters to people living in cities.
D. knew all letters were automatically read by postal staff.

30. What does the text say about Hill in the 1830s?

A. He was the first person to express concern about the postal system.
B. He considered it would be more efficient for mail to be delivered by rail.
C. He felt that postal service reform was necessary for commercial development.
D. His plan received support from all the important figures of the day.

Questions 31-34
Look at the following statements (Questions 31-34) and the list of people below. Match each statement with the correct person, A, B , C or D.Write the correct letter, A, B, C or D, in boxes 31-34 on your answer sheet.
NB You may use any letter more than once.

31. His inspiration came from a particular picture.
32. He claimed that the postal system would lead to the spread of information.
33. He organised the creation of the first stamp.
34. He expressed doubts about the plans to change the postal service.

List of People

A. Rowland Hill
B. Lord Lichfield
C. Cheverton
D. Tristram Hunt

Questions 35-40
Complete the notes below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

The Penny Black

  • Design came about as a result of a competition organised by the 35 ........................
  • Based on an engraving of Queen Victoria featured on a 36 .........................
  • Apart from the Queen’s face, the stamp had just three words and pictures of 37......................... as decoration
  • No mention of 38......................... as plan was for stamps to be for domestic use only
  • The 39........................., which was applied to indicate that the stamp had been used, proved to be ineffective
  • In 1842, the 40......................... of the stamp was changed.

18. Bài 18

Questions 14-19
Reading Passage 2 has six paragraphs, A-F. Choose the correct heading for each paragraph from the list of headings below. write the correct letter, i-viii, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.
List of Headings
i. The power within each studio
ii. The movie industry adapts to innovation
iii. Contrasts between cinema and other media of the time
iv. The value of studying Hollywood’s Golden Age
v. Distinguishing themselves from the rest of the market
vi. A double attack on film studios’ power
vii. Gaining control of the industry
viii. The top movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age
14. Paragraph A
15. Paragraph B
16. Paragraph C
17. Paragraph D
18. Paragraph E
19. Paragraph F

The Hollywood Film Industry

A. This chapter examines the ‘Golden Age’ of the Hollywood film studio system and explores how a particular kind of filmmaking developed during this period in US film history. It also focuses on the two key elements which influenced the emergence of the classic Hollywood studio system: the advent of sound and the business ideal of vertical integration. In addition to its historical interest, inspecting the growth of the studio system may offer clues regarding the kinds of struggles that accompany the growth of any new medium. It might, in fact, be intriguing to examine which changes occurred during the growth of the Hollywood studio, and compare those changes to contemporary struggles in which production companies are trying to define and control emerging industries, such as online film and interactive television.

B. The shift of the industry away from ‘silent’ films began during the late 1920s. Warner Bros.’ 1927 film The Jazz Singer was the first to feature synchronized speech, and with it came a period of turmoil for the industry. Studios now had proof that ‘talkie’ films would make them money, but the financial investment this kind of filmmaking would require, from new camera equipment to new projection facilities, made the studios hesitant to invest at first. In the end, the power of cinematic sound to both move audiences and enhance the story persuaded studios that talkies were worth investing in. Overall, the use of sound in film was well-received by audiences, but there were still many technical factors to consider. Although full integration of sound into movies was complete by 1930, it would take somewhat longer for them to regain their stylistic elegance and dexterity. The camera now had to be encased in a big, clumsy, unmoveable soundproof box. In addition, actors struggled, having to direct their speech to awkwardly-hidden microphones in huge plants, telephones or even costumes.

C. Vertical integration is the other key component in the rise of the Hollywood studio system. The major studios realized they could increase their profits by handling each stage of a film’s life: production (making the film), distribution (getting the film out to people) and exhibition (owning the theaters in major cities where films were shown first). Five studios, ‘The Big Five’, worked to achieve vertical integration through the late 1940s, owning vast real estate on which to construct elaborate sets. In addition, these studios set the exact terms of films’ release dates and patterns. Warner Bros., Paramount, 20th Century Fox, MGM and RKO formed this exclusive club. ‘The Little Three’ studios – Universal, Columbia and United Artists – also made pictures, but each lacked one of the crucial elements of vertical integration. Together these eight companies operated as a mature oligopoly, essentially running the entire market.

D. During the Golden Age, the studios were remarkably consistent and stable enterprises, due in large part to long-term management heads – the infamous ‘movie moguls’ who ruled their kingdoms with iron fists. At MGM, Warner Bros, and Columbia, the same men ran their studios for decades. The rise of the studio system also hinges on the treatment of stars, who were constructed and exploited to suit a studio’s image and schedule. Actors were bound up in seven-year contracts to a single studio, and the studio boss generally held all the options. Stars could be loaned out to other production companies at any time. Studio bosses could also force bad roles on actors, and manipulate every single detail of stars’ images with their mammoth in-house publicity departments. Some have compared the Hollywood studio system to a factory, and it is useful to remember that studios were out to make money first and art second.

E. On the other hand, studios also had to cultivate flexibility, in addition to consistent factory output. Studio heads realized that they couldn’t make virtually the same film over and over again with the same cast of stars and still expect to keep turning a profit. They also had to create product differentiation. Examining how each production company tried to differentiate itself has led to loose characterizations of individual studios’ styles. MGM tended to put out a lot of all-star productions while Paramount excelled in comedy and Warner Bros, developed a reputation for gritty social realism. 20th Century Fox forged the musical and a great deal of prestige biographies, while Universal specialized in classic horror movies.

F. In 1948, struggling independent movie producers and exhibitors finally triumphed in their battle against the big studios’ monopolistic behavior. In the United States versus Paramount federal decree of that year, the studios were ordered to give up their theaters in what is commonly referred to as ‘divestiture’ – opening the market to smaller producers. This, coupled with the advent of television in the 1950s, seriously compromised the studio system’s influence and profits. Hence, 1930 and 1948 are generally considered bookends to Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Questions 20-23
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2? In boxes 20-23 on your answer sheet, write:
TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this

20. After The Jazz Singer came out, other studios immediately began making movies with synchronized sound.
21. There were some drawbacks to recording movie actors’ voices in the early 1930s.
22. There was intense competition between actors for contracts with the leading studios.
23. Studios had total control over how their actors were perceived by the public.
Questions 24-26
Complete the summary below. Choose NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the passage for each answer. Write your answers in boxes 24-26 on your answer sheet.


Throughout its Golden Age, the Hollywood movie industry was controlled by a handful of studios. Using a system known as (24)…………… , the biggest studios not only made movies, but handled their distribution and then finally showed them in their own theaters. These studios were often run by autocratic bosses – men known as (25)………… , who often remained at the head of organisations for decades. However, the domination of the industry by the leading studios came to an end in 1948, when they were forced to open the market to smaller producers – a process known as (26)…………

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