Douglas McGregor (1906-1964)
Theory X & Theory Y
Thesis: Staff will contribute more to the organization if they are treated as responsible and valued employees.
Douglas McGregor in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise" published in 1960 examined theories on behaviour of individuals at work, and formulated two models which he calls Theory X and Theory Y which make completely different/opposite assumptions about people at work.
- 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 fulfil himself.
- Theory X managers do not give their staff this opportunity so that the employees behave in the expected fashion.
- 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.