Leadership Style : Douglas Mcgregor 's Theory X

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Before we examine the core characteristics of autocratic leadership in terms of the four key characteristics of the theory and the way autocratic leadership can manifest, it’s auspicious to consider the theoretical basis of the leadership style: Douglas McGregor’s Theory X. Theory X Autocratic leadership style closely rests on the assumptions made in Douglas McGregor’s Theory X. The theory explains why people behave the way they do and if they are acting in a particular way, what kind of leadership style would be beneficial for them The social psychologist studied human motivation and management in the 1960s and developed two distinct theories: Theory X and Theory Y. According to McGregor’s findings, leader base their management style in the assumptions and beliefs of how they think the team can be motivated. If the leader assumes the team is not motivated and doesn’t enjoy the work, then the leader will adopt an authoritarian or autocratic style. The below image outlines the assumptions both theories make about the subordinates and their motivation: Source: Business Case Studies While McGregor criticised the Theory X type of management style, the psychologist also recognised that these types of subordinates exists and that certain environments would require an autocratic leadership style to succeed. For example, he suggested the style would work well in environments that require large-scale production or have a number of unskilled workers in place. The theory is,
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