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Motivation Theory X

In this theory, which has been proven counter-effective in most modern practice,
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 employee's 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 cause Diseconomies of Scale in large
businesses. This theory is a negative view of employees

A Theory X manager makes the following general assumptions:

• Work is inherently distasteful to most people, who will attempt to avoid work
whenever possible.
• Most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer
to be directed.
• Most people have little capacity for creativity in solving organizational
• Motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels of Maslow's
Hierarchy of Needs
• Most people are self-centered. As a result, they must be closely controlled
and often coerced to achieve organizational objectives
• Most people resist change.
• Most people are gullible and not particularly intelligent.

Essentially, Theory X assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation
is money, with security as a strong second.

Hard Approach vs. Soft Approach

Under Theory X , management approaches to motivation can range from a hard
approach to a soft approach.
The hard approach to motivation relies on coercion, implicit threats, close
supervision, and tight controls -- essentially an environment of command and
control. The soft appoach is to be permissive and seek harmony with the hope that in
return employees will cooperate when asked to do so. However, neither of these
extremes is optimal. The hard approach results in hostility, purposely low-output,
and hard-line union demands. The soft approach results in increasing desire for
greater reward in exchange for diminishing work output.

It would appear that the optimal approach to human resource management would be
lie somewhere between these extremes. However, McGregor asserts that neither
approach is appropriate since the fundamental assumptions of Theory X are

The Problem with Theory X

Drawing on Maslow's Needs Hierarchy, McGregor argues that a need, once satisfied,
no longer motivates. Under Motivation Theory X, the firm relies on money and
benefits to satisfy employees' lower needs, and once those needs are satisfied the
source of motivation is lost. Theory X management styles, in fact, hinder the
satisfaction of higher-level needs. Consequently, the only way that employees can
attempt to satisfy their higher level needs in their work is by seeking more
compensation, so it is quite predictable that they will focus on monetary rewards.
While money may not be the most effective way to self-fulfillment, in a Theory X
environment it may be the only way. Under Theory X, people use work to satisfy
their lower needs, and seek to satisfy their higher needs in their leisure time.
Unfortunately, employees can be most productive when their work goals and higher
level needs are in alignment.

McGregor makes the point that a command and control environment is not effective
because it relies on lower needs as levers of motivation, but in modern society those
needs already are satisfied and thus no longer motivate. In this situation, one would
expect employees to dislike their work, avoid responsibility, have no interest in
organizational goals, resist change, etc., thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. From
this reasoning, McGregor proposed an alternative: Theory Y.

Motivational Theory Y
In this theory, management assumes employees may be ambitious and self-
motivated and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental
and physical work duties. According to Papa, to them work is as natural as play.
They possess the ability for creative problem solving, but their talents are underused
in most organizations. Given the proper conditions, theory Y managers believe that
employees will learn to seek out and accept responsibility and to exercise self-control
and self-direction in accomplishing objectives to which they are committed. A Theory
Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well
at work. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation.
Many people interpret Theory Y as a positive set of beliefs about workers. A close
reading of The Human Side of Enterprise reveals that McGregor simply argues for
managers to be open to a more positive view of workers and the possibilities that
this creates. 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 human
resource development. It's here through human resource development that is a
crucial aspect of any organization. This would include managers communicating
openly with subordinates, minimizing the difference between superior-subordinate
relationships, creating a comfortable environment in which subordinates can develop
and use their abilities. This climate would include the sharing of decision making so
that subordinates have say in decisions that influence them. This theory is a positive
view to the employees

The higher-level needs of esteem and self-actualization are continuing needs in that
they are never completely satisfied. As such, it is these higher-level needs through
which employees can best be motivated.

In strong contrast to Theory X, a Theory Y manager makes the following general


• Work can be as natural as play if the conditions are favorable.

• People will be self-directed and creative to meet their work and organizational
objectives if they are committed to them.
• People will be committed to their quality and productivity objectives if
rewards are in place that address higher needs such as self-fulfillment.
• The capacity for creativity spreads throughout organizations.
• Most people can handle responsibility because creativity and ingenuity are
common in the population.
• Under these conditions, people will seek responsibility.

Under these assumptions, there is an opportunity to align personal goals with

organizational goals by using the employee's own need for fulfillment as the
motivator. McGregor stressed that Theory Y management does not imply a soft

McGregor recognized that some people may not have reached the level of maturity
assumed by Theory Y and therefore may need tighter controls that can be relaxed as
the employee develops.

Applying Theory Y Management - Business Implications

If Theory Y holds true, an organization can use these principles of scientific
management to improve employee motivation:

• Decentralization and Delegation - If firms decentralize control and reduce the

number of levels of management, managers will have more subordinates and
consequently will be forced to delegate some responsibility and decision
making to them.
• Job Enlargement - Broadening the scope of an employee's job adds variety
and opportunities to satisfy ego needs.
• Participative Management - Consulting employees in the decision making
process taps their creative capacity and provides them with some control over
their work environment.
• Performance Appraisals - Having the employee set objectives and participate
in the process of evaluating how well they were met.
If properly implemented, such an environment would result in a high level of
motivation as employees work to satisfy their higher level personal needs through
their jobs.

Theory z
Theory Z is an approach to management based upon a combination of American and
Japanese management philosophies and characterized by, among other things, long-
term job security, consensual decision making, slow evaluation and promotion
procedures, and individual responsibility within a group context. Proponents of
Theory Z suggest that it leads to improvements in organizational performance. The
following sections highlight the development of Theory Z, Theory Z as an approach
to management including each of the characteristics noted above, and an evaluation
of Theory Z. Realizing the historical context in which Theory Z emerged is helpful in
understanding its underlying principles. The following section provides this context.


Theory Z represents a humanistic approach to management. Although it is based on
Japanese management principles, it is not a pure form of Japanese management.
Instead, Theory Z is a hybrid management approach combining Japanese
management philosophies with U.S. culture. In addition, Theory Z breaks away from
McGregor's Theory Y. Theory Y is a largely psychological perspective focusing on
individual dyads of employer-employee relationships while Theory Z changes the
level of analysis to the entire organization.

According to Professor Ouchi, Theory Z organizations exhibit a strong, homogeneous

set of cultural values that are similar to clan cultures. The clan culture is
characterized by homogeneity of values, beliefs, and objectives. Clan cultures
emphasize complete socialization of members to achieve congruence of individual
and group goals. Although Theory Z organizations exhibit characteristics of clan
cultures, they retain some elements of bureaucratic hierarchies, such as formal
authority relationships, performance evaluation, and some work specialization.
Proponents of Theory Z suggest that the common cultural values should promote
greater organizational commitment among employees. The primary features of
Theory Z are summarized in the paragraphs that follow

Contingency Theory
Basically, contingency theory asserts that when managers make a decision, they
must take into account all aspects of the current situation and act on those aspects
that are key to the situation at hand. Basically, it’s the approach that “it depends.”
For example, the continuing effort to identify the best leadership or management
style might now conclude that the best style depends on the situation. If one is
leading troops in the Persian Gulf, an autocratic style is probably best (of course,
many might argue here, too). If one is leading a hospital or university, a more
participative and faContingency theory attempts to provide a perspective on organizations and
management based on the integration of prior theories. Contingency theory starts with the theme of "it
depends," arguing that the solution to any one managerial problem is contingent on the factors that are
impinging on the situation. For instance, where little variation in materials exists in the production process, it
is appropriate to break down the work into highly routine tasks. However, where variation is high, requiring
many judgments concerning which material is appropriate and which is not, managers will want to avoid
making tasks routine.cilitative leadership style is probably best.

One of the first applications of contingency theory came from research conducted by two British scholars,
Thomas Burns and G. M. Stalker. After studying several industrial firms in England, such as textile mills and
electronics manufacturers, they concluded that the appropriate managerial techniques were highly
dependent on the kind of task the orgBy applying contingency theory to the study of management, you will
be able to identify and to solve problems under different situations. You will recognize that the successful
application of a technique in one situation does not guarantee success in another. Rather, you will be able to
examine each situation in terms of how it is affected by the contextual, organizational, and human
dimensions. As a result, your overall ability to correct problems and to become more effective as a manager
will increase. anization was trying to accomplish.

Scientific management (also called Taylorism or the Taylor system) is a theory

of management that analyzes and synthesizes workflows, with the objective of
improving labor productivity. The core ideas of the theory were developed by
Frederick Winslow Taylor in the 1880s and 1890s, and were first published in his
monographs, Shop Management (1905)[1] and The Principles of Scientific
Management (1911).[2] Taylor believed that decisions based upon tradition and rules
of thumb should be replaced by precise procedures developed after careful study of
an individual at work. Its application is contingent on a high level of managerial
control over employee work practices.

Taylorism is a variation on the theme of efficiency;

it is a late 19th and early 20th century instance
of the larger recurring theme in human life of
increasing efficiency, decreasing waste, and
using empirical methods to decide what
matters, rather than uncritically accepting pre-
existing ideas of what matters. Thus it is a
chapter in the larger narrative that also
includes, for example, the folk wisdom of thrift,
time and motion study, Fordism, and lean
manufacturing. It overlapped considerably with
the Efficiency Movement, which was the
broader cultural echo of scientific
management's impact on business mMass
production methods
Taylorism is often mentioned along with Fordism, because it was closely associated
with mass production methods in manufacturing factories. Taylor's own name for his
approach was scientific management. This sort of task-oriented optimization of
work tasks is nearly ubiquitous today in industry, and has made most industrial work
menial, repetitive and tedious; this can be noted, for instance, in assembly lines and
fast-food restaurants. Taylor's methods began from his observation that, in general,
workers forced to perform repetitive tasks work at the slowest rate that goes
unpunished. This slow rate of work (which he called "soldiering", but might nowadays
be termed by those in charge as "loafing" or "malingering" or by those on the
assembly line as "getting through the day"), he opined, was based on the
observation that, when paid the same amount, workers will tend to do the amount of
work the slowest among them does: this reflects the idea that workers have a vested
interest in their own well-being, and do not benefit from working above the defined
rate of work when it will not increase their compensation. He therefore proposed that
the work practice that had been developed in most work environments was crafted,
intentionally or unintentionally, to be very inefficient in its execution. From this he
posited that there was one best method for performing a particular task, and that if
it were taught to workers, their productivity would go up.

Taylor introduced many concepts that were not widely accepted at the time. For
example, by observing workers, he decided that labor should include rest breaks so
that the worker has time to recover from fatigue. He proved this with the task of
unloading ore: workers were taught to take rest during work and as a result
production increased.

Today's armies employ scientific management. Of the key points listed, all but wage
incentives for increased output are used by modern military organizations. Wage
incentives rather appear in the form of skill bonuses for enlistments.

Division of labor
Unless people manage themselves, somebody has to take care of administration, and
thus there is a division of work between workers and administrators. One of the
tasks of administration is to select the right person for the right job:

the labor should include rest breaks so that the worker has time to
recover from fatigue.Now one of the very first requirements for a man
who is fit to handle pig iron as a regular occupation is that he shall be
so stupid and so phlegmatic that he more nearly resembles in his
mental make-up the ox than any other type. The man who is mentally
alert and intelligent is for this very reason entirely unsuited to what
would, for him, be the grinding monotony of work of this character.
Therefore the workman who is best suited to handling pig iron is
unable to understand the real science of doing this class of work.
(Taylor 1911, 59)

anagers specifically.

The behavioral management theory is often called the human relations movement because it addresses
the human dimension of work. Behavioral theorists believed that a better understanding of human behavior
at work, such as motivation, conflict, expectations, and group dynamics, improved productivity.
The theorists who contributed to this school viewed employees as individuals, resources, and assets to be
developed and worked with — not as machines, as in the past. Several individuals and experiments
contributed to this theory.

Elton Mayo's contributions came as part of the Hawthorne studies, a series of experiments that rigorously
applied classical management theory only to reveal its shortcomings. The Hawthorne experiments consisted
of two studies conducted at the Hawthorne Works of the Western Electric Company in Chicago from 1924 to
1932. The first study was conducted by a group of engineers seeking to determine the relationship of lighting
levels to worker productivity. Surprisingly enough, they discovered that worker productivity increased as the
lighting levels decreased — that is, until the employees were unable to see what they were doing, after
which performance naturally declined.

A few years later, a second group of experiments began. Harvard researchers Mayo and F. J.
Roethlisberger supervised a group of five women in a bank wiring room. They gave the women special
privileges, such as the right to leave their workstations without permission, take rest periods, enjoy free
lunches, and have variations in pay levels and workdays. This experiment also resulted in significantly
increased rates of productivity.

In this case, Mayo and Roethlisberger concluded that the increase in productivity resulted from the
supervisory arrangement rather than the changes in lighting or other associated worker benefits. Because
the experimenters became the primary supervisors of the employees, the intense interest they displayed for
the workers was the basis for the increased motivation and resulting productivity. Essentially, the
experimenters became a part of the study and influenced its outcome. This is the origin of the term
Hawthorne effect, which describes the special attention researchers give to a study's subjects and the
impact that attention has on the study's findings.

The general conclusion from the Hawthorne studies was that human relations and the social needs of
workers are crucial aspects of business management. This principle of human motivation helped
revolutionize theories and practices of management.

Abraham Maslow, a practicing psychologist, developed one of the most widely recognized need theories,
a theory of motivation based upon a consideration of human needs . His theory of human needs had three

• Human needs are never completely satisfied.

• Human behavior is purposeful and is motivated by the need for satisfaction.
• Needs can be classified according to a hierarchical structure of importance, from the lowest to

Maslow broke down the needs hierarchy into five specific areas:

• Physiological needs. Maslow grouped all physical needs necessary for maintaining basic human
well-being, such as food and drink, into this category. After the need is satisfied, however, it is no
longer is a motivator.
Safety needs. These needs include the need for basic security, stability, protection, and freedom from fear.
A normal state exists for an individual to have all these needs generally satisfied. Otherwise, they become
primary motivators. rewards, shifting the focus to the role of individuals in an organization's performance.

Bureaucracy is the collective organizational structure, procedures, protocols, and

set of regulations in place to manage activity, usually in large organizations and
government. As opposed to adhocracy, it is represented by standardized procedure
(rule-following) that guides the execution of most or all processes within the body;
formal division of powers; hierarchy; and relationships, intended to anticipate needs
and improve efficiency.

A bureaucracy traditionally does not create policy but, rather, enacts it. Law, policy,
and regulation normally originates from a leadership, which creates the bureaucracy
to put them into practice. In reality, the interpretation and execution of policy, etc.
can lead to informal influence. A bureaucracy is directly responsible to the leadership
that creates it, such as a government executive or board of directors. Conversely,
the leadership is usually responsible to an electorate, shareholders, membership or
whoever is intended to benefit. As a matter of practicality, the bureaucracy is where
the individual will interface with an organization such as a government etc., rather
than directly with its leadership. Generally, larger organizations result in a greater
distancing of the individual from the leadership, which can be consequential or
intentional by design.

Bureaucracy is an important macrolevel unit of analysis, but not so all-important

that every theory of bureaucracy is a theory of public administration or a theory
about society as a whole. Opinions vary over the importance as well as definition of
bureaucracy. Hill (1991) boils down the scientific debate into three opinions: (1)
those who say bureaucracies are powerful and inevitably dominate the policy
process; (2) those who say bureaucracies are in-between powerful and powerless
and best described as pathological entities which only have instrumental influence
on policy; and (3) those who say bureaucracies may be significant, but are not all
that powerful as actors in the political process. Clearly, a diversity of opinion exists,
and the literature is full of value-laden (normative) as well as value-neutral
(empirical) conceptualizations
Bureaucracies have been blamed for everything from "passing the buck" to the downfall
of civilization. Some common stereotypes include being wasteful, inefficient, overly
large, and a threat to liberty. Bureaucracies are often criticized for being "out of touch"
and exhibiting the qualities of sluggishness, complacency, and arrogance. Everybody
seems quick to point the finger of blame at bureaucracy when things go wrong, including
media, politicians, special interests, academicians, and average citizens. Working in a
bureaucracy is supposed to be thankless, boring, mindless, stupid work. It's not that they
don't return your calls (that would be pre-bureaucratic behavior, or laziness), it's just that
bureaucracies can only handle routine matters, and if something is out of the ordinary, it's
"I have to check with my supervisor." Bureaucracy is the whipping boy for when people
are really referring to organizations which don't work, don't plan, and don't innovate.