Theory X and Theory Y

2017 Words9 Pages
McGregor (1960) described two views on human motivation: Theory X and Y. Theory X, the more conventional one, holds the view that people are in themselves not intrinsically motivated to work and even attempt to avoid it, that people have no ambition, are resistant to change, are not particularly intelligent and that people only work for money and security. Management’s objective is to direct employees efforts, motivating them, controlling them and modifying their behavior to ensure that they behave in line with the organization’s needs and goals.
In contrast, Theory Y holds the view that work can be child’s play. People are committed, can work autonomous and still reach their work objectives, act responsible and are creative in
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We will first discuss the characteristics of modern society implying the shift to more Y-motivated people. Then we will discuss the obstacles inhibiting organization to move towards more Y-supporting organizations.

Characteristics of Modern Society supporting Y
One of the major characteristics of modern society is “globalization”. Johnson (2002) stated that globalization is a recent phenomenon in human history. Five developments where of major influence in making globalization possible and effective (Johnson, 2002). We will make use of one of these characteristics to underline the fact that people in modern society are Y-motivated.
Knowledge- there has been an enormous increase in knowledge since 1750 (Johnson, 2002). Even LOI, a Dutch learning-institute, is advertising with it, “The Netherlands are getting smarter”. Current developments in modern society show a trend toward a society with more higher educated people. The amount of higher educated people is rising. In 2012 the Dutch population consisted of 28% higher educated people, in 2003 this was only 23% (CBS, 2012).
We believe that the work done under people expressing Theory Y often is knowledge intensive work. Johnson (2002) already stated that there is much more knowledge available nowadays. Also we spotted a trend among the Dutch population that the amount of higher

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