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purpose of the executive summary

From your experience, what is the greatest value of a well-written executive summary in a formal report? If it is true that an executive might read the executive summary, what is the purpose of the entire formal report?

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Hi there,
In response to your question, I have the following personal thoughts. Going through an MBA myself, I have encountered many professors who have varying thoughts on the value of an executive summary. My thought is that it is crucial to any proposal to have an executive summary on the front of the document. The executive summary's greatest value is that it puts the whole document together and gives it some polish. The purpose of the entire formal report is to lend some support to the executive summary in the off chance that the executive reads the summary and questions how a certain number is derived. I have also done some research for you regarding why else to have an executive summary:

The Executive Summary is the most important section of your business plan. It provides a concise overview of the entire plan along with a history of your company. This section tells your reader where ...