Essay on Human Relations Perspective in Management

1451 Words Jan 12th, 2009 6 Pages
Katie Tolan
Management
Human Relations Perspective

The human relations perspective is a way to manage a corporation where the employees are viewed as social beings with complex needs and desires as opposed to just units of production. It is based on the works of Abraham Maslow and Douglas McGregor in the mid twentieth century. This perspective places an emphasis on the social networks found in a corporation and uses gratification, not depravation, to provide motivation in the workplace.
The human relations perspective developed in the mid twentieth century and was an extension of the behavioral viewpoint. Prior to the behavioral, almost all management was looked upon through the classical viewpoint. This viewpoint specifically
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The human relations perspective views the workplace as an intricate social network which a manager must control though increased participation from employees and open communication. Within this perspective employees are viewed as responsible, social, and self-motivated. These views support Douglas McGregor’s theory Y. Managers who follow theory Y believe employees generally enjoy work, are often self-motivated to complete tasks efficiently and to the best of their ability, and will actively seek responsibility. They also believe that people in general are smarter than previously realized and can exercise high levels of creativity and ingenuity. (Heyel, C. (Ed.). (1982). The Encycolpedia of Management . NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.) McGregor compares this to managers who follow the X theory, who believe employees avoid responsibility, have little ambition, and are inherently lazy. They feel that people must be controlled and threatened in order to work to their best ability and are primarily motivated by monetary rewards. This is the view that managers held in previous perspectives. McGregor believed that a belief in a certain theory could end up being a self – fulfilling prophecy, meaning that if a manager believes their employees will act a certain way then they will. (Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2008). Chapter 2. In Management: A practical Introduction (pp. 46-49). NYC: McGraw Hill.) Mangers in this perspective use less micromanagement and move towards…