1. Tony Hsieh – CEO of Zappos
2. Mary Barra – CEO of General Motors
3. Jeff Bezos – CEO of Amazon
4. Satya Nadella – CEO of Microsoft
5. Sundar Pichai – CEO of Google
6. Marissa Mayer – CEO of Yahoo
7. Indra Nooyi – Former CEO of PepsiCo
8. Howard Schultz – Former CEO of Starbucks
9. Jack Welch – Former CEO of General Electric
10. Anne Mulcahy – Former CEO of Xerox
Theory X and Theory Y
Mnemonic device for the two theories: a person who refuses to work (“X”) and a person who celebrates the opportunity to work (“Y”)
Theory X and Theory Y are human theories work motivation and management. They were created by Douglas McGregor while he worked at MIT Sloan School of Business in the 1950s, and developed further in the 1960s. McGregor’s work was rooted in motivation theory alongside the work of Abraham Maslowwho created the hierarchy of needs. The two theories proposed by McGregor describe contrasting models of the workforce motivation applied by managers in human resource Management, organizational behavior, organizational communication and organizational development. Theory X explains the importance of heightened supervision, external rewards, and penalties, while Theory Y highlights the motivating role of job satisfaction and encourages workers to approach tasks without supervision. Managerial use of Theory X and Theory Y can affect employee motivation and productivity in different ways, and managers may choose to implement strategies from both theories in their practices.
McGregor and Maslow
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y Maslow’s hierarchy of needs both are rooted in motivation theory. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs consists of physiological needs (lowest level), safety needs, love needs, esteem needs, and needs. auto update (highest level). According to Maslow, a human being is motivated by the level he has not yet reached, and self-realization cannot be achieved until each of the lower levels has been fulfilled. Theory Y assumptions, in relation to Maslow’s hierarchy, emphasize the higher-level needs of the employee, such as esteem and self-actualization needs.
McGregor also believed that self-actualization was the highest level of reward for employees. He theorized that the motivation employees use to achieve self-actualization allows them to reach their full potential. This led companies to focus on how their employees were motivated, managed and led, creating a Theory Y management style that focuses on motivation for individual self-actualization. McGregor’s perspective places responsibility for performance on both managers and subordinates.
Theory X is based on negative assumptions about the typical worker. This management style assumes that the typical worker has little ambition, avoids responsibility and is oriented towards individual goals. In general, Theory X style managers believe that their employees are less intelligent, more lazy, and only work for a sustainable income. Management believes that the work of employees is based on their own interests. Managers who believe employees operate this way are more likely to use rewards or punishments as motivation. Because of these assumptions, Theory X concludes the typical workers operates more efficiently under a practical approach to management. Theory X managers believe that all actions should be traceable to the responsible individual. This allows the individual to receive a direct reward or a rebuke, depending on the positive or negative nature of the outcome. It is managerial style it is most effective when used in a workforce that is not primarily performance driven.
According to McGregor, there are two opposing approaches to implementing Theory X: the hard approach and the soft approach. The tough approach relies on close supervision, intimidation, and immediate punishment. This approach can generate a hostile and minimally cooperative workforce and resentment toward management. Managers are always looking for employee mistakes because they don’t trust their work. Theory X is an “us versus them” approach, which means it’s management versus employees.
The soft approach is characterized by leniency and looser rules in hopes of creating high morale in the workplace and cooperative employees. Implementing a system that is too lenient can result in an under-performing, skilled workforce. McGregor believes both ends of the spectrum are too extreme for effective real-world application. Instead, McGregor feels that an approach located in the middle would be the most effective implementation of Theory X.
Since managers and supervisors have almost complete control of the work, this produces a more systematic and smooth product or workflow. Theory X can benefit a workplace that uses an assembly line or manual labor. Using this theory in these types of working conditions allows employees to specialize in specific areas of work, which in turn allows the company to mass produce a greater quantity and quality of work.
Theory Y is based on positive assumptions about the typical worker. Theory Y managers assume that employees are internally motivated, enjoy your work and work to improve yourself without a direct reward in return. These managers see their employees as one of the company’s most valuable assets, driving the inner workings of the corporation. In addition, employees tend to make the most of responsibility for their work and they don’t need to close supervision to create a quality product. It is important to note, however, that before an employee can carry out his task, he must first obtain approval from the manager. This ensures that work remains efficient, productive and in line with company standards.
Theory Y managers gravitate toward the worker on a more personal level, as opposed to a more conductive, teaching-based relationship. As a result, Theory Y followers can have a better relationship with their boss, creating a healthier environment in the workplace. Compared to Theory X, Theory Y incorporates a pseudo-democratic environment into the workforce. This allows the employee to design, build and publish their work in a timely manner in coordination with their workload and projects.
While Theory Y embraces creativity and discussion, it has limitations. While there is a more personal and individualistic feel to it, this leaves room for error in terms of consistency and uniformity. The workplace lacks unvarying rules and practices, which can undermine a given company’s product quality standards and strict guidelines.
humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslowwhose work McGregor drew on Theories X and Y, went on to propose his own model of workplace motivation, theory z. Unlike Theories X and Y, Theory Z recognizes a transcendent dimension to work and worker motivation. An ideal managerial style would help cultivate a worker’s creativity, insight, meaning, and moral excellence.
Choosing a management style
For McGregor, Theory X and Theory Y are not opposite ends of the same continuum, but two different continuums in themselves. To achieve the most efficient production, a combination of both theories may be appropriate. This approach is derived from Fred Fiedler’s research on various leadership styles known as contingency theory. This theory states that managers evaluate the workplace and choose their leadership style based on the internal and external conditions presented. Managers who choose the Theory X approach have an authoritarian management style. An organization with this management style is made up of multiple levels of supervisors and managers who actively intervene and micromanage employees. By contrast, managers who choose the Theory Y approach have a non-interfering management style. An organization with this management style encourages participation and values the thoughts and goals of individuals. However, as there is no ideal way for a manager to choose between adopting Theory X or Theory Y, it is likely that a manager will need to adopt both approaches, depending on evolving circumstances and levels of internal and external locus of control at the time. throughout the process. Desktop.
Military command and control
Theory X and Theory Y also have implications for command and control (C2). Older, strictly hierarchical conceptions of C2, with close centralization of decision rights, highly restricted patterns of interaction, and limited distribution of information tend to arise from cultural and organizational assumptions compatible with Theory X. On the other hand, more modern, centered conceptions networking, and decentralized concepts of C2, which rely on individual initiative and self-synchronization, tend to emerge more from a “Theory Y” philosophy. mission command, for example, is a command philosophy to which many modern military establishments aspire and which involves individual judgment and action within the overall framework of the commander’s intent. Its assumptions about the value of individual initiative make it more of a Theory-Y philosophy than a Theory-X philosophy.
- A diagram representing Theory X and Theory YAlan Chapman, 2002.
- Another diagram representing Theory X and Theory Y
Source: Theory X and Theory Y
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Theory X: authoritarian management, negative motivation, low morale, compliance, external control
Theory Y: participative management, positive motivation, high morale, commitment, self-control