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Employers should ensure the safety of their employees who are sent abroad on assignment. In order to provide (the) necessary and adequate protection for their employees, employers should provide executive buy-in.

In this instance, how would you decide to use it or not?

  • By adding the you're explicitly saying which protection is spoken about. – Alejandro May 15 '16 at 22:25
  • So since I said the protection would be executive buy-in, then I would have to add "the". Correct? – Ghaith Alrestom May 15 '16 at 22:54
  • "executive buy-in" is just the prerequisite, it doesn't change the previous phrase. "protection" as generally used is non-specific, so I would leave out the "the". However, you could say "In order to provide for the necessary and adequate protection for their employees." if you really want to get "the" in there. – user3169 May 15 '16 at 23:07
  • It works better without the the, and it sounds better without their in the first sentence. – Alan Carmack May 15 '16 at 23:53
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Specifying "the" would mean you are referring back to a specific "necessary and adequate protection for their employees" discussed or implied by earlier or observation.

Did previous sentences talk about such a need? Is the need obvious in the context that this is presented? If so, and if "executive buy-in" would fill that particular need previously mentioned, then use the article. Otherwise you should not.

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Consider this variation:

In order to provide (the?) necessary ingredients for their children's growth, parents should provide organic food.

I'd say "the" is unnecessary in this statement (regardless of whether you consider it true or not...).

Necessary ingredients/protection are very general, and there may be other requirements besides organic food/executive buy/in; these are probably only some of the requirements, so "the" is not appropriate.

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