Theory X And Theory Y Essay

1225 words - 5 pages

Theory X and Theory Y, developed by Douglas McGregor, grew out of opposition towards classical management methods. Classical management theorists, such as Fredrick Taylor, focused on scientific training and efficiency and did not account for personal and behavioral issues, such as management styles or job satisfaction. McGregor saw these deficiencies in the classical school of management which lead him to develop a theory of management that would factor the importance of the individual worker. If a manager could tap into the feelings and attitudes of their workers, then the manager would be able increase their employee’s motivation which would then increase production. McGregor’s theory viewed the employee as a person and not as a machine as classical theorists did, and because the employee will receive more personal attention, he/she will become more satisfied with his/her own work, and according to McGregor, production would then be increased (Barnett).
McGregor developed his theory and published it in his book “The Human Side of Enterprise” in 1960 where he stated that classical theorists viewed employees as essentially having negative attitudes towards their jobs; this negative attitude was the basis for McGregor’s Theory X behaviors. Theory X had three main assumptions about workers and managers. First, McGregor suggested that employees dislike work and will avoid working whenever possible. Next, because workers dislike doing work, manager and supervisors must force them to work with the threat of punishment. The worker will then perform the duties with moderate effort which will barely drag the organization towards the pursuit of its goals. Finally, McGregor states that workers would play a passive role within the organization if it were not for the intervention of management. Therefore, management must use the threat of punishment or the benefits of rewards or the workers would have little to no motivation (Denhardt).
Theory X was labeled by McGregor as being a “hard” style of management, where hard meant that management would have close supervision on its workers, as well as having strong control and coercion. He determined that a hard style would not be effective for production and organization that practiced this style would have restricted output and workers would distrust management, therefore there would be a need for a softer side of management. McGregor based his evaluation of Theory X manager’s on Abrahams Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory (Barnett).
As stated earlier, only when the basic needs are met, then a person will be motivated to pursue the next level. McGregor stated that because most workers have basic physical and safety needs met, he/she will only be motivated to satisfy higher needs, such as esteem and self actualization. Therefore, management must be able to provide workers with opportunities to satisfy their higher needs or they will not be motivated to perform their organizational duties (Barnett). Because...

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