March 1, 2009

Theory X, Y & Z

Theory X & Y by Douglas Mc Gregory

Theory X & Y lay out two different attitudes different individuals might have, which can be understood proactively by managers in dealing with them and adopting managerial styles that are appropriate to get the best and desired outcome. The assumptions of X and Y types are given below.

Theory X Assumptions
  • The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can.
  • Because of their dislike for work, most people must be controlled and threatened before they will work hard enough.
  • The average human prefers to be directed, dislikes responsibility, is unambiguous, and desires security above everything.
These assumptions lie behind most organizational principles today, and give rise both to "tough" management with punishments and tight controls, and "soft" management which aims at harmony at work.Both these are "wrong" because man needs more than financial rewards at work, he also needs some deeper higher order motivation - the opportunity to fulfill himself. Theory X managers do not give their staff this opportunity so that the employees behave in the expected fashion.

Theory Y Assumptions
  • The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.
  • Control and punishment are not the only ways to make people work, man will direct himself if he is committed to the aims of the organization.
  • If a job is satisfying, then the result will be commitment to the organization.
  • The average man learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.
  • Imagination, creativity, and ingenuity can be used to solve work problems by a large number of employees.
  • Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average man are only partially utilized.

Theory Z by William Ouchi
This is a common misconception held by many that Theory Z is another motivational theory. But, Theory Z is propounded by Ouchi based on the Japanese management styles and gives a new dimension of decision making which is consensus oriented in a team environment. This theory assumes the interest and loyalty of the team workers towards the objectives to be achieved by the team.
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