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Recent studies on flexible working hours show at least some of these working
time arrangements seem to be associated with impairing effects of health and
wellbeing. Analyzing the data from our study of 15 companies and 137 service
workers showed impairments in circadian controlled functions like sleep and
digestion. The results thus indicate that analyzing flexible working hours seems
to be a promising approach for predicting impairments which should be inves-
tigated further in the future.
Does this mean that we shouldn't use flextime? Not necessarily, but it
does suggest, along with a number of other studies the authors include in
their report (almost all of which are German or European in origin and
over half of which are by the authors), that flextime may have a negative
impact on the health and emotional well-being of workers because work-
ers use schedules that may force them to work during times normally
used for sleep. Should we look for studies with American workers before
we completely reject flextime? Absolutely. These authors are reporting on
a culture that is very different from that of the United States, and service
workers are a subset of workers who may have little in common with
professionals and more highly skilled workers.
3. CBM Requires Managers to Understand Best Evidence
Competency-based management requires the manager to locate, read,
and understand data that constitute best evidence. Hines (2000) suggests
that some fundamental steps are required by managers to obtain usable
information in a literature search. They are: (a) developing a well-
formulated question; (b) finding the best possible answers to your ques-
tions; (c) determining the validity and reliability of the data found; and
(d) testing the information with your workers and clients. Hines also
notes that a well-formulated question must accurately describe the prob-
lem you wish to research, limit the interventions you think are feasible
and acceptable to the worker, consumer, and agency, search for alternative
approaches, and indicate the outcomes you wish to achieve. According to
Hines, the advantage of this process is that it allows managers to develop
quality practice guidelines that can be applied to a variety of functions of
organizational life. It also identifies appropriate literature that can be
shared with workers, suggesting that their ideas and input are valued.
Gambrill (1999, p. 343) indicates that a complete search for best evi-
dence will provide the following relevant information, first suggested by
Enkin, Keirse, Renfrew, & Neilson (1995) :
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