Theory X, Theory Y

1389 Words Nov 13th, 2012 6 Pages
Theory X, Theory Y by Douglas McGregor is a motivation theory. Douglas McGregor is a social psychologist and applied two sets of assumptions to the organizational structure called Theory X and Theory Y. His theory is based on managerial views of human beings. In his book, The Human Side of Enterprise, he outlined a new role for managers. He stated that managers should assist subordinates in reaching their full potential, rather than commanding and controlling. Theory X is negative and Theory Y can be stated as the opposite, positive. Douglas concluded that managers shaped their behavior towards workers based on either the X or Y views.
Theory X presumes that average employees dislike work, are lazy, dislike responsibility, and must be
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Theory X and Y call for managers to examine their assumptions about human nature and see how these models lead to managerial practices. These assumptions will be reflected in management attitudes toward employees, the kind and amount of participation they allow, and the outcomes they expect. The strength of McGregor’s theory is its significance. When McGregor formulated his theory, companies competed on their ability to mass produce goods. Today, however, paying attention to the human aspect is a requirement if any organization. Without a powerfully motivated, highly skilled, self-reliant human resource, organizations do not stand a chance to survive, much less compete. McGregor’s theory provides the solution to problems related to the human aspect of an organization.
Some of the weaknesses in McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y theory are that there is only so much money that can be offered as motivation and only so much control that can be applied. People change and so do motivators. McGregor states that a satisfied need no longer motivates. This theory has no evidence to support Theory X or Theory Y. There’s no validity in the assumption that managers who modify their actions or behaviors will lead to more motivated workers (textbook citation p177). It is part of the manager's job to exercise control and influence, and there are situations in which this is the only