Friday, November 25, 2011

McGregor's Theory X

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Prof. Douglas McGregor has proposed two opposite sets of theories about individuals at work. They are known as McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y.

McGregor's ideas suggest that there are two fundamental approaches to managing people. In this post, we are going to see what are the assumptions made in McGregor's Theory X.

McGregor's Theory X Assumptions

  1. Most people prefer to be directed and prodded.
  2. People like to supervised very closely
  3. They are not interested in assuming responsibility.
  4. They are lethargic.
  5. They do not like to work and will avoid it if they can.
  6. Most people have little capacity in solving organizational problems.
  7. Desires security above everything.
  8. Motivation occurs only at the physiological and safety needs.

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As you can see, Theory X generally represents standard bureaucratic and authoritarian attitudes towards employees. Managers who accept the assumptions of Theory X attempt to structure, control and closely monitor and supervise their project team members.

Many managers tend towards Theory X, which leads to poor results. On the contrary, managers using Theory Y produces better performance and results, and allow people to grow and develop.

We will see what are the assumptions made in Theory Y in our next article.

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