Theory X and Theory Y

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Mr. Douglas Mc.Gregor, a lecturer at Harvard University and MIT, and one of the most popular management writers of all times, is associated with introducing the concepts of Theory X and Theory Y of management. According to him, there are two fundamentally different styles of management. One is authoritarian and is based on the belief that management must work against an innate human tendency to avoid work. This style of management is called Theory X. The other style is more participative and assumes that individuals work because it is the only way to satisfy their need for achievement and self-respect.

The core assumption of Theory Y is that is it natural to get physically and mentally involved in work and that individuals actively seek to engage in work. For instance, a company like MTV constantly needs to come up with new and interesting shows to keep their viewers captivated and Theory Y is the most fitting style of management. The employees love their work and are motivated to do their best and are capable of self-direction and self-control. Thus, as a result, through brainstorming and individual participation they come up with brilliant ideas, which directly results in success. However, in some situations, Theory X is absolutely inevitable. Theory X is an autocratic style of management and during an emergency situation, the leader must step forward and take control of the situation and give explicit guidelines to their employees, which they must strictly follow. Also, some times, employees need to be given a direction and need to be told what to do. For example, in a call-centre, there has to be a standard procedure that all employees have to follow. They can not come up with their own solutions and must follow the standard operating procedures laid down by the company.

According to me, Theory X is more old-fashioned and individuals should be given more freedom to express their thoughts and ideas and work accordingly. I believe Theory Y is apt for most...
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