3. McGregor’s view was that theory X amounted to “treating people as children”. Should we deduce from this that a Theory X approach on part of teachers will produce the best results in the classroom? (10)
Firstly, Theory X managers assume a number of things about the workers: they assume they don’t want to work, lack ambition and discipline is essential to make them work. For these reasons, the leadership style of theory X managers is autocratic- orders and commands are given, the communication is mostly one way and threats are sometimes used in order to motivate the workers.
Theory X is very commonly used in teaching to great effect. Autocratic leadership can be beneficial to some students who welcome direction and commands rather than working more spontaneously and making the decisions themselves, this allows them to work with strict rules and regulations, under close-supervision so that they produce the best possible results they can. In addition, Theory X is more suitable to teaching because it allows lessons to run much more quickly as there is only a one-way stream of communication as teachers are giving the students commands without their input in the decisions. This means the students can learn more information in lessons and produce better results.
Furthermore, the Theory X involves providing the “workers” with incentives as a key motivation to keep them working to their best standard. In business terms, this is usually a cash incentive but in teaching, sanctions are usually used as an alternative. This is an effective feature of autocratic leadership, which can force the students to complete the work on time, but not always to their best standard.
On the other hand, we cannot simply deduce from the statement that theory X is the approach produces the best results in students because the students differ. There will be some students who will prefer self-discipline in their work and they will seek