1 June 2010
Douglas McGregor: The Father of Theory X; Theory Y
Douglas McGregor is one of the founding fathers of organizational behavior management thinking. As a social psychologist, McGregor is most known for his Theory X and Theory Y from his 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise, which revolutionized the view on how management should run the workplace. After earning an A B.E. Mechanical from Rangoon Institute of Technology, McGregor went on to earn an A.B. from Wayne State University, and went on to study Psychology at Harvard.
After graduating from Harvard with a PhD, McGregor was the first full time psychologist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He helped create its Industrial Relations Section. McGregor later went on to be the President of Antioch College for 6 years, and throughout his career he advised for union and management the same and served on the panel of arbitrators for the American Arbitration Association.
When he was a child, McGregor worked in his grandfather's institute for laborers in Detroit, where he gained knowledge into what mental challenges were caused by labor. Later, as district manager for a retail gasoline merchandising firm, he learned the importance of management and its dealings with organizational behavior.
In 1960, McGregor took his knowledge of the management world of business and went on to write a book named, The Human Side of Enterprise, which broke down the managerial side of business into two sets of assumptions about human nature and described how these elements affect people’s mental state and influence the behavior of others, especially describing the affect managers’ attitudes have on employees. McGregor suggested that the way that manager’s, and other authoritative figures, were affected by the subtle, but frequent unconscious effects of their assumptions about people.
The following a breakdown of how the specific theories that Douglas McGregor brought...