Motivation Theory X Essay

4369 words - 17 pages

Motivation Theory X

Foundation of today's organizations. These theories go back to the turn of the century and in some cases are considered by the uninformed to be simply fads which come and go. As I have discovered, these theories are rather the steps on a ladder which continually takes us higher and higher. Douglas McGregor in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise" published in 1960 has examined theories on behavior of individuals at work, and he has formulated two models which he calls Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X Assumptions The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can. Because of their dislike for work, most people must be controlled and threatened before they will work hard enough. The average human prefers to be directed, dislikes responsibility, is unambiguous, and desires security above everything. These assumptions lie behind most organizational principles today, and give rise both to "tough" management with punishments and tight controls, and "soft" management which aims at harmony at work.

Two years ago, I was employed by SunTrust Bank working in their stocks & transfers department. Theory Y approach ( basic assumption is that staff will contribute more to the organization if they are treated as responsible and valued employees) was utilize with great success through out our department. The most notable is self directed work teams which are defined as a small number of people with complementary skills, who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach, for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993). Collaborative self directed work teams can get complex projects done at faster rates than the traditional boss-worker arrangement, because the decision making process is made faster and more effective in a team. Empowering teams to make decisions about their work also enhances satisfaction and reduces turnover (Berger, 1998). Self directed work teams involve employees in a specific area, or those who are working on a specific product or process. Self directed work teams can be any size, we usually use 5 team members but normally run no more than 12 to 15 employees. The work team makes the decisions that would normally be made by a supervisor or manager, and might interact with the company's suppliers and customers, whether they are inside or outside the company.

In some companies, self-directed work teams will also take over many of the human resource functions as well (Cotton, 1993). Self directed work teams have also become one of the more changing approaches to employee involvement, and has been increasing in popularity within the last several years. Companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Digital Equipment, General Mills, Federal Express and other well known companies, are reorganizing their employees into self directed work teams. In a recent survey, 476 Fortune 500 companies found that although only 7% of the work force is...

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