Theory X & Theory Y

2268 words 10 pages
Theory X and Theory Y represent two sets of assumptions about human nature and human behavior that are relevant to the practice of management. Theory X represents a negative view of human nature that assumes individuals generally dislike work, are irresponsible, and require close supervision to do their jobs. Theory Y denotes a positive view of human nature and assumes individuals are generally industrious, creative, and able to assume responsibility and exercise self-control in their jobs. One would expect, then, that managers holding assumptions about human nature that are consistent with Theory X might exhibit a managerial style that is quite different than managers who hold assumptions consistent with Theory Y.

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According to McGregor, neither the hard style of management based on the classical school nor the soft style of management inspired by the human relations movement were sufficient to motivate employees. Thus, he proposed a different set of assumptions about human nature as it pertains to the workplace.

McGregor put forth these assumptions, which he believed could lead to more effective management of people in the organization, under the rubric of Theory Y. The major propositions of Theory Y include the following:

1.Management is responsible for organizing the elements of productive enterprise-money, materials, equipment, and people in the interests of economic ends.
2.People are not by nature passive or resistant to organizational needs. They have become so as a result of experience in organizations.
3.The motivation, potential for development, capacity for assuming responsibility, and readiness to direct behavior toward organizational goals are all present in people-management does not put them there. It is a responsibility of management to make it possible for people to recognize and develop these human characteristics for themselves.
4.The essential task of management is to arrange organizational conditions and methods of operation so that people can achieve their own goals by directing their efforts toward organizational objectives.
Thus, Theory Y has at its core the assumption that the physical and


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