Douglas McGregor proposed two distinct views of human beings: one basically negative, labeled Theory X, and the other basically positive, labeled Theory Y. After viewing the way in which managers 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 behaviour toward employees according to these assumptions.
Under Theory X, the four assumptions held by managers are:
1.Employees inherently dislike work and, whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it. 2.Since employees dislike work, they must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment to achieve goals. 3.Employees will avoid responsibilities and seek formal direction whenever possible. 4.Most workers place security above all other factors associated with work and will display little ambition.
In contrast to these negative views about the nature of human beings, McGregor listed the four positive assumptions that he called Theory Y: 1.Employees can view work as being as natural as rest or play. 2.People will exercise self-direction and self-control if they are committed to the objectives. 3.The average person can learn to accept, even seek, responsibility. 4.The ability to make innovative decisions is widely dispersed throughout the population and is not necessarily the sole province of those in management positions.
McGregor suggested the adoption of Theory Z, which is not a theory in true sense. It is merely a label interchangeable with type Z. It describes human behaviour as in the case of theories X and Y. The expression ‘Theory Z’ was adopted not for analytical purpose but for promotional purpose.