Complete Question Explanation
Must Be True. The correct answer choice is (E)
This stimulus presents several facts related to the effect on the workforce of certain scheduling policies, which allow work schedules to be tailored to each individual’s needs. There appears to be a difference between the effect of the implementation of these policies on managers vs. non-managerial employees. Regarding managers, the implementation of these policies does not typically increase their job satisfaction or efficiency. The author speculates that this may be because most managers already have the autonomy to adjust their own schedules. However, these flexible-schedule policies do increase job satisfaction, productivity, and attendance among non-managerial employees. Still, the author notes, the benefits dissipate somewhat over time, and they are reduced even further if schedules are too elastic.
This is a Must Be True question. Your task in this question is to select the answer choice that contains either an inference permissible from a combination of the facts in the stimulus, or which contains merely a restatement of one of the facts in the stimulus. Here, an inference permissible from a combination of the facts is that in the majority of cases, the flexible-schedule policies will improve, at least in the short term, the job satisfaction, productivity, and attendance of workers, so long as the schedules under the policy are not too elastic. This inference is permissible because, by definition, there are fewer managers than other workers. While the policies at issue do not typically have this effect on managers, they will have the described effect on the majority of workers, who are non-managerial employees.
Answer choice (A): The first sentence of the stimulus states that the reason why implementation of flexible-schedule policies do not typically increase managers’ job satisfaction or efficiency “may be” because most managers already have the autonomy to adjust their own schedules. Because the stimulus supports only the possibility that the reason for the lack of effect on managers is their existing flexibility, this answer choice presents only a possibility, and not something that must be the case.
Answer choice (B): This answer choice references the morale of employees. While the concepts of employee job satisfaction, productivity and attendance are in some ways related to morale, they are not synonymous with the term “morale.” Thus, this answer choice contains new information that is not supported by the stimulus. Furthermore, the "overall morale" of the workforce is too vague of a concept, and little can be inferred about the conditions under which that morale will improve (or not improve).
Answer choice (C): The stimulus indicated that the benefits of flexible-schedule policies dissipate somewhat over time. So, it is not the case that flexible schedules should be expected to substantially improve a company’s productivity and employee satisfaction in the long run.
Answer choice (D): This answer choice is not supported, because the stimulus stated it may be the case that flexible-schedule policies do not typically produce the same effect in mangers due to most managers already having the autonomy to adjust their own schedules. If so, it may be the case that there is significant correlation between managers’ job satisfaction and their ability to set their own work schedules. Therefore, it is not necessarily the case that there must be little correlation between managers’ job satisfaction and their ability to set their own work schedules.
Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Flexible-schedule policies do increase job satisfaction, productivity and attendance among non-managerial employees, but not typically among managers. Since there are, by definition, more non-managerial employees than managers, it is the case that the typical benefits of flexible-schedule policies cannot be reliably inferred from observations of the effects of such policies on managers.