University of Tokyo

Abstract
Survey Number 0087
Survey Title Survey on the Discretionary Working System, 1994
Depositor Japan Productivity Center
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Educational Purpose Only available for research.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
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Summary We are living in an era when competition takes place over uniqueness for which creativity and planning ability matter. For white-collar workers, especially those who hold jobs which demand creativity and planning ability, this has meant a growing attention to the discretional work system, which involves freer time management (or, rather, no time management) than the conventional flexible system. This survey was conducted in order to clarify the meaning that the discretional work system has for the future way of working among white-collar workers. It investigates companies' interest in this system, and the system's advantages and disadvantages, relationship with the Labor Standard Law, and future trends. The survey consists of two questionnaires, one directed to listed companies and the other, to some of the employees subject to the system at five companies.
Universe [Company questionnaire]
Personnel/labor managers of 2,138 listed companies.
[Employees' questionnaire]
280 workers who are subject to the discretional work system at 5 companies.
Unit of Observation Individual,Organization
Sample Size [Company questionnaire]
A sample of 2,138, of which 334 (15.6%) responded.
[Employees' questionnaire]
A sample of 280, of whom 242 (86.4%) responded.
Time Period July--August, 1994
Spatial Unit
Sampling Procedure
Mode of Data Collection [Company questionnaire]
Self-administered questionnaires by mail.
[Employees' questionnaire]
Self-administered questionnaires, distributed via personnel managers and then directly mailed back to the researcher.
Investigator Japan Productivity Center for Socio-economic Development
Sponsors (Funds)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Productivity Research Institute, JPC-SED (January, 1995) "Sairyo-rodo-sei ni kansuru chosa" hokokusho (Report of "The Survey on the Discretional Work System").
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation [Kigyo Chosa-hyo][Kojin Chosa-hyo]
Major Survey Items [Company questionnaire]
Demographic items:
Line of business; number of regular employees; unionized or not; goal management system, adopted or not; annual salary system, adopted or not; flextime, adopted or not, (if adopted) period of adoption, divisions subject to flextime, actual use, setting of core time.

Questionnaire items:
Advantages of discretional work system; reasons for relative unpopularity among companies; more/less companies adopting system (for occupations specified in the Ministerial ordinance); other applicable occupations; more/less companies adopting system (if Ordinance specifies more occupations).
Discretional system, adopted or not. (If no) With or without subject occupations;
Future plans for adoption, subject occupations, expected effect (advantages/disadvantages); future direction of personnel management; attitude to more elastic work hours. (If yes) period of adoption; union response at adoption; trial period, provided or not; with or without specific name for system; purposes of adoption; subjects' divisions, occupations, qualifications, and selection; number of subjects; presence at company, required or not (and, if required, number of hours); how holidays are determined; telecommuting, allowed or not; methods of attendance management; actual system use among subjects; users' change in work flexibility; communication and work management devices after adoption; legally regulated maximum working hours and agreed-upon hours counted as work; how hours are determined, how allowance is conceptualized, and amount of allowance; effect of adoption (advantages/disadvantages); overall evaluation of adoption; intentions for expanding subjects; free opinion.

[Employees' questionnaire]
Demographic items:
Occupation; teamwork or individual; with or without subordinates; exercise of flextime before introduction of discretional time.
Questionnaire items:
Use of discretional work system; changes in work flexibility; effect of adoption (advantages/disadvantages); overall evaluation of adoption; attitude to more elastic work hours; more/less companies adopting system (for occupations specified in the Ministerial ordinance); other applicable occupations; more/less companies adopting system (if Ordinance specifies more occupations); intentions for expanding subject occupations; free opinion.
Date of Release 1998/04/01
Version Registered on April 1, 1998.
Topics Employment/Labor
Notes for Users Data Sets are written in Japanese.