Mcgregor's Xy Theory

Topics: Management, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Theory X and theory Y Pages: 6 (1998 words) Published: June 7, 2012
Karl Nagra Karl Nagra Lecturers Name: Graham Orr Management & eBusiness Due Date: 27 April 2012

McGregor’s XY Theory
In 1960, American social psychiatrist, Douglas McGregor wrote a book titled ‘The Human Side Of Enterprise’. It was in this book that McGregor first proposed his famous XY theory. McGregor’s XY Theory is a type of motivational management. McGregor’s theory is incredibly simple yet effective. Most of the fundamental elements of the XY Theory rely solely on how the manager views their employees. Even though McGregor’s theory is over fifty years old, it is still relevant today. Authors have tried to modernise the theory but the basics remain the same. Laurie J. Mullins describes Theory X type workers as having an “Instrumental Orientation” and Theory Y type workers as being of “Bureaucratic Orientation” (Mullins 2007, P9). This is proof that McGregor’s Theory XY was not only true in management of the time but remains true today. Theory X works on the principle that all the workers need a high amount of supervision and control. This can because the workers are not motivated beyond Maslow’s bottom two stages of needs, biological/physiological and safety/security needs. The workers may be motivated but unskilled and therefore still need to be treated as Theory X workers. Theory X workers require a large amount of supervision, control methods and direction to ensure work is done well. If a business is to work as with a X type management, then a large management team is required. An example of an X type business is the management system within a JD


Karl Nagra Wetherspoon public house. Due to JD Wetherspoon being part of the hospitality industry and primarily as public houses, it is assumed that a majority of the staff will be young and unskilled workers with little motivation. With this in mind, within one public house there will be a strict hierarchy of staff responsibility. Associates are the bottom of the ladder workers with no responsibility outside of their role. Team leaders are given a small responsibility for a group of associates but do not make any decisions about the running of the public house. Shift leaders are given a responsibility to run a shift but do not have any responsibility in terms of administration. This position is to ensure that the team leaders are doing adequate work with running the team. There is then a duty manager who will ensure that the shift leader is performing sufficiently and take care of administration. Above the duty manager is pub manager. These managers will have little contact with the people below shift leader. The pub manager is the top manager in that particular public house is over looked by an area manager. The hierarchy command continuously grows until it reaches the top. What this shows is that at each level, directly above each position is a manager and each manager only has a small amount of group of people directly under there command. This is because the staff are not trusted to perform without a large amount of supervision and direction. They are essentially seen as ‘bad workers’ This is true until the position of pub manager is reached. When a member of staff reaches the position of pub manager, they are now considered to be a Theory Y worker. As a Theory Y worker, the member of staff is now seen as being self motivated, skilled and accepting of responsibility. The worker is supposed to use their own initiative and work towards the companies goals. To do this the worker will need to be imaginative and creative. The worker is now seen as a ‘good worker’ that is working to fulfill the top three tiers of Maslow’s Needs, belongingness/love, self esteem and self 2

Karl Nagra actualisation. It is now expected that the pub manager will treat the rest of the staff within the style of Theory X management. This can be used to determine wether a person is a manager or leader. A manager dictates to their workers to work hard and to the organisations goals. The...
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