Theory X & Z

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Management Pages: 14 (4868 words) Published: March 9, 2013
“Theory X and Theory Y” of Douglas McGregor :
McGregor, in his book “The Human side of Enterprise” states that people inside the organization can be managed in two ways. The first is basically negative, which falls under the category X and the other is basically positive, which falls under the category Y. After viewing the way in which the manager dealt with employees, McGregor concluded that a manager’s view of the nature of human beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her behavior towards subordinates according to these assumptions. Under Theory X ,the four assumptions held by managers are:

Employees inherently do not like work and whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it. •Because employees dislike work, they have to be forced, coerced or threatened with punishment to achieve goals. •Employees avoid responsibilities and do not work fill formal directions are issued. •Most workers place a greater importance on security over all other factors and display little ambition. In contrast to these negative views about the nature of the human beings ,McGregor listed the four positive assumptions that he called Theory Y : •Physical and mental effort at work is as natural as rest or play. •People do exercise self-control and self-direction and if they are committed to those goals. •Average human beings are willing to take responsibility and exercise imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving the problems of the organization. •That the way the things are organized, the average human being’s brainpower is only partly used. On analysis of the assumptions it can be detected that theory X assumes that lower-order needs dominate individuals and theory Y assumes that higher-order needs dominate individuals. An organization that is run on Theory X lines tends to be authoritarian in nature, the word “authoritarian” suggests such ideas as the “power to enforce obedience” and the “right to command.” In contrast Theory Y organizations can be described as “participative”, where the aims of the organization and of the individuals in it are integrated; individuals can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts towards the success of the organization. However, this theory has been criticized widely for generalization of work and human behavior

Robert Owen (1771-1858) ,a british industrialist and reformer was one of the first managers to recognize the importance of organization’s human resources.He was an early industrialist--perhaps best known for his model textile factory and village at New Lanark in Scotland.

Conditions in early factories were extremely harsh, with very hazardous working conditions for all employees. Long working hours (normally at least 13 hours per day, six days a week) were the norm, with children as young as five or six working under the same conditions as adults. Factory owners placed more importance on the care of their expensive machines than on the well-being (or otherwise) of their expendable employees. Owen's strength was that he saw his employees as every bit as important to the success of his enterprise as the machines he owned. By examining working methods and conditions, and seeking to improve these, he is justifiably claimed as a father of personnel management. Though Owen is considered to be paternalistic in his view, his contribution is of a considerable significance in the theories of Motivation. During the early years of the nineteenth century, Owen’s textile mill at New Lanark in Scotland was the scene of some novel ways of treating people. His view was that people were similar to machines. A machine that is looked after properly, cared for and maintained well, performs efficiently, reliably and lastingly, similarly people are likely to be more efficient if they are taken care of. Robert Owen practiced what he preached and introduced such things as employee housing and...
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