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Douglas McGregor’s x & y Theory

The x & y theory was proposed by an American psychologist Douglas McGregor in his book ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’ in 1960. These theories are still commonly referred to in the field of management & motivation. McGregor’s theory is a constructive and effortless memento of the standard rules of managing people, which are easily forgotten under the pressure of routine business. His theory states that there are two primary approaches to managing people. Though recent studies have questioned the firmness of the model the theory still remains as an official essential principle from which management styles and techniques can be developed. This theory is vital for organizational progress and for the improvisation of organizational culture. ‘Theory y’ has been proven to give better results and allows room for improvement and development over ‘theory x’ when used by managers.

‘Theory x’ includes the following:

•  Work is usually disliked, and will be avoided by the worked if possible.

• Work is enforced with threats of punishment for the achievement of organizational goals.

• Direction is preferred in most cases as people tend to avoid responsibility and seek work security above other things.

•    Individuals require close supervision.

The x theory is also known as “the authoritarian management style” because it states that the average worker needs to be persuaded into completing company/organizational objectives.

‘Theory y’ includes the following:

• To put effort in work is as natural as work and play

• Employees apply self-direction and self-control in the pursuit of organizational objectives without pressure, external control or threats of punishment.

• Loyalty towards achieving goals is also a function of rewards; associated with their achievement.

•    Employees often seek as well as accept responsibility

• The ability to use imagination, take initiatives and the creativity for solving organizational problems is extensively not narrowly strewn in the population.

• The intellectual talent of the average person is only partly utilized in the industry.

•  If there is freedom of work in the organization, it brings about increase in productivity.

This theory tends to be better than theory x, because it has a wider scope towards analyzing employee behavior and is better suited towards companies that use a much more flexible approach to cope with work management, rewards systems, employee management etc.

[adsense1]The x and y theory is basically about the management of organizations. Once managements understand that underestimating the potential of its human resources will lead to the organizations downfall then it will better identify and accept the information provided by social science researchers, such as displayed in the x and y theories assumptions. The theory ascertains that organizations need to invest time, effort and money to develop or improvise company managements. Also as shown in ‘theory y’ managers need to realize the true potential of their employees and give them room to grow and expand their work talent, for the benefit of themselves as well as the organizations. When putting the theories forward, McGregor realized that in most cases his theories are unrealizable in organizational practices, still he suggests that managers assume that: “Staff will contribute more to the organization if they are treated as responsible and valued employees. Also known as “the participative management style”, However one should remember that an organization that is using the y theory will have a different view of people/employees than that organization which is using theory X.

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One Response to "Douglas McGregor’s x & y Theory"

  1. AHMAD NAHAR AL-RFOU says:

    There is no person pure X or Y may be the man is mix

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