Essay on Theory X and Theory Y

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Theory X and Theory Y, developed by Douglas McGregor, grew out of opposition towards classical management methods. Classical management theorists, such as Fredrick Taylor, focused on scientific training and efficiency and did not account for personal and behavioral issues, such as management styles or job satisfaction. McGregor saw these deficiencies in the classical school of management which lead him to develop a theory of management that would factor the importance of the individual worker. If a manager could tap into the feelings and attitudes of their workers, then the manager would be able increase their employee’s motivation which would then increase production. McGregor’s theory viewed the employee as a person and not as a machine…show more content…
Theory X was labeled by McGregor as being a “hard” style of management, where hard meant that management would have close supervision on its workers, as well as having strong control and coercion. He determined that a hard style would not be effective for production and organization that practiced this style would have restricted output and workers would distrust management, therefore there would be a need for a softer side of management. McGregor based his evaluation of Theory X manager’s on Abrahams Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory (Barnett).
As stated earlier, only when the basic needs are met, then a person will be motivated to pursue the next level. McGregor stated that because most workers have basic physical and safety needs met, he/she will only be motivated to satisfy higher needs, such as esteem and self actualization. Therefore, management must be able to provide workers with opportunities to satisfy their higher needs or they will not be motivated to perform their organizational duties (Barnett). Because Theory X fails to satisfy the higher needs of the worker, a different set of assumptions need to be made to account for them, thus McGregor developed an alternative he called Theory Y.
Theory Y was created by McGregor because he believed that its assumptions would lead to a more effective style of management. McGregor stated that peoples work effort was as

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