Theory X and Theory Y: Theories of Employee Motivation

1 January 2018

Douglas McGregor in his research has developed theories in the human resource management that describe contrasting models that if applied by managers in the organizational behaviour of workers, organization communication and organization development can enhance maximum production from the human work force. This analysis enabled the generation of two opposing perceptions about people, i.e. theory X and Theory Y.

Comparing the two Theories, The Following Are The Differences.

In terms of the management style, theory X emphasises on Authoritarian management as the managers opt for a close supervision rather than delegation of the managerial roles in order to ensure work is done while in Theory Y, the management and duties are decentralised in the bid to help develop the potential of the employees towards the common goal as that of the company in question.

Theory X, the managers has a perception that employees are naturally lazy, unmotivated, avoid responsibility and need to be closely supervised and comprehensive control systems are needed while in theory Y, Assumes that individual believe going to work is the only way of achieving their high level of satisfaction and self-respect therefore go to work on their own accord.

Theory X emphasises on a well clearly defined roles in an organization which are mostly repetitive to enhance proper supervision of work done whereas in theory Y the workers tend to work in a wider areas of skills and knowledge as employees are encourage to exercise their innovation skills in making improvements.

Carrot and Stick. This is an approach that offers the combination of motivation and punishment on employees to induce behaviour. In the theory X the approach is used since performance appraisal as part of the overall mechanism of control and remuneration whereas, in Theory Y, as much as appraisal is important and regular, it is always offered separate from the organization. Employees in this case are given various opportunities for promotion.

In conclusion, the two theories that McGregor talks about in his book “The human side of enterprise” demonstrates the approaches used in the management of people as either through the authoritarian style of management or the democratic style of leadership, each of them are adopted by most mangers in the human management.

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