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Introduction: Theory X and Theory Y are theories of human motivation created and developed by Douglas McGregor at the MIT

Sloan School of Management in the 1960s that have been used in human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational communicationand organizational development. They describe two contrasting models of workforce motivation. Theory X and Theory Y have to do with the perceptions managers hold on their employees, not the way they generally behave. It is attitude not attributes. Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist, proposed his famous X-Y theory in his 1960 book 'The Human Side Of Enterprise'. Theory x and theory y are still referred to commonly in the field of management and motivation, and whilst more recent studies have questioned the rigidity of the model, Mcgregor's X-Y Theory remains a valid basic principle from which to develop positive management style and techniques. McGregor's XY Theory remains central to organizational development, and to improving organizational culture. McGregor's X-Y theory is a salutary and simple reminder of the natural rules for managing people, which under the pressure of day-to-day business are all too easily forgotten. McGregor's ideas suggest that there are two fundamental approaches to managing people. Many managers tend towards theory x, and generally get poor results. Enlightened managers use theory y, which produces better performance and results, and allows people to grow and develop. McGregor's ideas significantly relate to modern understanding of the Psychological Contract, which provides many ways to appreciate the unhelpful nature of X-Theory leadership, and the useful constructive beneficial nature of Y-Theory leadership.

Theory x: In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if
they can and that they inherently dislike work. As a result of this, management believes that workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. According to Michael J. Papa, if the organizational goals are to be met, theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employees' compliance. Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee. One major flaw of this management style is it is much more likely to causediseconomies of scale in large business.

Theory y: In this theory, management assumes employees may be ambitious and selfmotivated and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties. According to them work is as natural as play. They possess the ability for creative problem

theory Y managers believe that employees will learn to seek out and accept responsibility and to exercise selfcontrol and self-direction in accomplishing objectives to which they are committed. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation. A Theory Y manager believes that. It's employee development that is a crucial aspect of any organization. .solving. This would include managers communicating openly with subordinates. He thinks that Theory Y managers are more likely than Theory X managers to develop the climate of trust with employees that is required for employee development. given the right conditions. Given the proper conditions. minimizing the difference between superior-subordinate relationships. A close reading of The Human Side of Enterprise reveals that McGregor simply argues for managers to be opened to a more positive view of workers and the possibilities that this creates. This climate would be sharing of decision making so that subordinates have say in decisions that influence them. Many people interpret Theory Y as a positive set of beliefs about workers. most people will want to do well at work. but their talents are underused in most organizations. creating a comfortable environment in which subordinates can develop and use their abilities.

but neither were very successful. already satisfied most of the physiological and security needs of people. As such. and thus will never work to their maximum productivity. whilst the soft approach will lead to workers requesting greater levels of rewards whilst working as little as possible. Therefore. As such. and managers should not fix themselves to one end of the continuum. the average employee is lazy. The hard approach depends on tight managerial controls and close supervision. it will never satisfy high level needs. In contrast. and employees will not be motivated by their work. As such. However. However. whilst following a Theory X approach would be better than following no approach. thus allowing them to fulfil their social and esteem needs outside of work. they will look for more money and rewards to compensate. In addition. with their abundant and cheap food. McGregor felt that most firms tried to use some aspect of both of these approaches. It is important to note that. in an attempt to acquire employee cooperation and reasonable levels of productivity. employees will never satisfy their high level needs through work. with the goal being to produce maximum economic benefit for the shareholders. Instead. They also have no ambition or responsibility. whilst managers who believed the workers could be motivated and wanted to develop themselves would be more likely to attempt to create positive working environments and opportunities for advancement. Both theory X and theory Y state that managers are responsible for assembling and organising the various factors of production. The reason for this is that McGregor claimed that theory X would only ever focus on low level needs such as security. only working because they have to in order to have money and security.Theory X and Theory Y In response to the two sides of the debate around employee motivation and the best ways to boost productivity. he believed that scientific management approaches could benefit from focusing on the need to motivate workers. high tax rates and social safety nets. the hard approach will tend to generate hostility and resistance. does not like to work. As a result. they take different views around the drivers of employee behaviour. in the form of pay cuts or potential sackings. controlling approach or a soft persuasive approach. whilst motivational approaches could also benefit from greater managerial control. thus fulfilling the assumptions made under the . As such. they will tend to resist any organisational change. He claimed that managers who viewed their employees as lazy would be more likely to follow an approach based on control. Theory X (steel mill in Pakistan) According to theory X. it also holds that they are quite gullible and easy to manipulate. McGregor referred to these theories as theory X and theory Y. including their employees. whilst the threat of removing security. such as proposed by scientific management. he argued that theory X and theory Y simply represented different ends of a continuum of approaches to improving productivity. whilst also using coercion and implicit threats to prevent any soldiering. would only motivate an employee to a certain level. and do not care about the performance of the organisation. rather he held that both views had merit. This meant that providing monetary rewards and punishments would not motivate staff as their discomfort at being controlled would outweigh the monetary benefits. in contrast to popular opinion. managers who follow a theory X approach can try to take a hard. the soft approach looks to manipulate employees with money and low levels of supervision. Unfortunately. and will attempt to avoid having to work as much as possible. employees under theory X will tend to dislike their work and take no interest in the goals of the organisation. McGregor argued that modern developed societies. and not be particularly innovative or intelligent. As such. and managers should not have too narrow a view of motivation. As such. Douglas McGregor argued that managers would tend to pursue the approach which was most in line with their view of their employees. McGregor did not state the theory Y was preferable to theory X.

Theory Y In contrast to theory X. if these conditions can be fulfilled. This allows managers to align employees’ personal goals with the goals of the organisation. Theory Y management cannot be seen as a soft approach as it is easy for employees to manipulate the system by pretending to be demotivated and hiding their true motivations.ukessays. a firm can decentralise its control structure. which motivates employees to achieve. it would result in very high levels of motivation.theory. Indeed. Participative performance appraisals are also often used in theory Y. theory Y assumes that working can be made as natural to people as play and rest. giving the employees input into the organisation’s success whilst benefitting from the employees’ creativity. providing employees with more responsibility and harnessing more of their skills to drive success. provided they commit to them. they are more likely to strive to reach them. As such. McGregor argued that some employees may not have developed sufficient emotional maturity to embrace a Theory Y style of management.php#ixzz2mSi2G9ph Read more: http://www. as when employees participate in setting and monitoring their objectives. people will seek additional challenges and responsibility. and that managers who followed it would end up demotivating even the most intrinsically motivated workforce. thus fulfilling the higher level esteem needs. If such a system can be properly implemented.com/mba/management/theory-x-y. by allowing the employee to fulfil their needs as the organisation succeeds. managers may need to develop an initial system of control for employees. and relax that system as the employee matures and develops.com/mba/management/theory-x-y. and will handle them well because humans are naturally creative and innovative: their talents just need to be encouraged in their work.ukessays. McGregor argued that theory X was a self fulfilling prophecy. and allowing people to approach self actualisation in their work. it will thus continue to motivate employees throughout their working lives. which allows managers to provide them with more interesting and challenging work. Read more: http://www. For example. In addition. As self actualisation is a continually evolving need. The most important aspect of theory Y is that it focused on the cycle of managers providing interesting work. As such.php#ixzz2mShEEPSo . As such. and may believe the managers are trying to manipulate them or are being weak. and they feel they will fulfil higher needs by achieving them. people will motivate themselves to fulfil their work objectives. with employees working ever harder as their personal needs develop and their job develops to satisfy them. However. Companies can also consult employees as part of the planning and decision making processes.