A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO WORKING HOURS by J. Carroll Swart

A FLEXIBLE APPROACH TO WORKING HOURS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A numbingly detailed examination of alternatives to the norm of an eight-hour, five-day work week. The author, who teaches at Indiana's Ball State College of Business, reviews four possibilities: staggered hours (whereby work is done ""within different time frames according to a master plan""); flexitour (in which employees choose starting times for their jobs on a rotating basis); flexitime (a system that permits jobholders to start and finish work at their own discretion so long as they put in the requisite number of hours); and group flexibility (a sort of majority-vote approach to working hours). Swart's focus is on flexitime, which he traces back two decades to West Germany when its economic boom was threatened by an overtaxed highway system that throttled productivity gains. He cites a number of case studies from the public and private sectors that illustrate the potential advantages as well as the limitations of flexitime. One major difficulty, Swart notes, is that organized labor views flexitime as ""a stopwatch in sheep's clothing."" Beyond this borrowed insight, the author has little to contribute. For those with a scholarly interest only.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1978
Publisher: Amacom