Literature Review of McGregors Theories of Management Essay

In 1960 American MIT lector, Douglas McGregor, became one of the sires of modern-day direction thought when he published his book, The Human Side of Enterprise. In his book McGregor put frontward his two sets of premises associating to how direction had to utilize these premises to efficaciously and expeditiously manage, every bit good as motivate those that worked underneath them ( Kermally ). These two premises became known as McGregor ‘s Theory X and Theory Y.

In this essay both of McGregor ‘s theories on direction, Theory X and Theory Y, will hold their development explained with the differences between the two premises described and defined, every bit good as the relevancy that both Theory X and Theory Y have upon direction in organisations in the twenty-first Century.

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Development of Theory X and Theory Y

In 1960 when McGregor wrote, The Human Side of Enterprise, he basically challenged the pattern and thought of direction, as he questioned some of premises about behavior in the workplace ( Koppelman, Prottas and Davis ). Koppelman et Al, argue that through oppugning these premises Mc Gregor came up with a new function for direction ; that alternatively of coercing and commanding the employees working underneath them directors should, in fact, ‘help them ‘ to make their possible ; McGregor seeing this as a manner to assist an organisation achieve their set ends.

The Evolution of Theory X and Theory Y was based on McGregor ‘s position of direction ; which he considered to be more than merely implementing orders and haling employees to work. McGregor ‘s position was that there had to be an equal balance between the demands of an employee and those of an administration ( Bobic and Davis ) . Trying to run into this balance between single and endeavor, McGregor applied psychologist Abraham Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands to his theories on direction.

Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands theory was an agreement of the five basic demands: self-actualisation, regard, belonging, safety and physiological demands, that harmonizing to Maslow actuate behavior ( Waddell, Jones and George ) . When McGregor formed the footing of his Theory X and Theory Y premises, he grouped Maslow ‘s five basic demands into ‘high ‘ and ‘low ‘ order demands, the ‘high order demands ‘ embracing the Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualisation demands while the ‘low ‘ incorporated the Physiological and the Security demands ( Kermally ). By making this McGregor was able to come to the realization that motive was the key to pull offing others and interpreted it into his Theory X and Theory Y.

The Main Assumptions of Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y are based on two different premises sing human behavior within an administration. Theory X takes on the position that directors are responsible for the organizing of employees, stuffs, and the machines that the administration uses to accomplish their administrations ends or to acquire desirable results ( Halepota ) .

Harmonizing to Halepota, who supports McGregor ‘s position on the Theory X direction attack, under Theory X directors should presume that all workers are lazy, lack aspiration, that they will non take on any place of duty, will put their personal demands before those of the administration, oppose alteration and will make whatever they can to acquire out of work.

Basically Theory X is seen as a ‘carrot and stick ‘ attack, as employees are rewarded for excess attempts and punished for their incorrect making. However, Theory X is based on an invalid and incorrect premise, which is why McGregor created Theory Y ( Bobic and Davis ).

Theory Y is similar to Theory X in that it holds direction for the employees, stuffs and machinery that the organisation needs to accomplish their ends. However it is different in that it is based on wholly different premises than Theory X.

Contrasting to Theory X, Theory Y proposes that workers are non lazy and that they can be motivated to accomplish maximal end product to profit the organisation, given that they have the freedom to accomplish their ends ( Halepota ) .Halepota besides argues that under the Theory Y attack that direction should demo assurance in leting their employees freedom for it allows them to accomplish the ends of the organisation.

Relevance and Value of Theory X and Theory Y in the twenty-first Century

McGregor had created his Theory X and Theory Y premises, he had foreseen the alterations that would happen, decennaries subsequently, for direction. The promotion of engineering and the rise of cyberspace companies have seen a return of McGregor ‘s thoughts, as some of the alterations that he had foreseen: people working from place and necessitating greater flexibleness and understanding from directors to make in order to bring forth quality merchandises occurred ( Bobic and Davis ) .

With such a alteration, it seems that many more administrations have taken the Theory Y direction attack over the Theory X attack. One such industry is the package and cyberspace companies which stress creativeness to work out assorted, concern, academic, and information control jobs ( Bobic and Davis ). However, Bobic and Davis besides argue that with this Theory Y direction attack there is a job in that: workers who work in such an environment tend to kick that there is no clear direction way.

All though based on premises that were and invalid and non every bit well-used as Theory Y direction, Theory X still has a topographic point in direction today ( Bobic and Davis ). The premises that Theory X supports such industries where there is a degree of high hazard involved. One such illustration is the atomic power industry where, harmonizing to Bobic and Davis, they found the Theory Y decreased efficiency and increased danger to the general populace, and that control and enforcement by the directors was needed. Though limited, Theory X direction still exists as some workers see this attack to suit more closely to their manner of work ( Bobic and Davis ) .


When McGregor wrote The Human Side of Enterprise and utilizing the background work of Abraham Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands, he defined Theory X as a more forceful attack of direction compared to Theory Y, believing that workers were lazy and would make anything to acquire out of working, with both theories still relevant to concern administrations today.

In my sentiment, the pick of whether an organisation should take Theory X or a Theory Y manner of direction is dependent on what field an organisation is in and whether this manner of direction will let them to successfully accomplish the organisations set ends.


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