X and Y Theory

475 Words2 Pages
Theory X and Theory Y In response to the two sides of the debate around employee motivation and the best ways to boost productivity, Douglas McGregor argued that managers would tend to pursue the approach which was most in line with their view of their employees. He claimed that managers who viewed their employees as lazy would be more likely to follow an approach based on control, whilst managers who believed the workers could be motivated and wanted to develop themselves would be more likely to attempt to create positive working environments and opportunities for advancement. McGregor referred to these theories as theory X and theory Y. It is important to note that, in contrast to popular opinion, McGregor did not state the theory Y was preferable to theory X, rather he held that both views had merit, and managers should not have too narrow a view of motivation. As such, he believed that scientific management approaches could benefit from focusing on the need to motivate workers, whilst motivational approaches could also benefit from greater managerial control. As such, he argued that theory X and theory Y simply represented different ends of a continuum of approaches to improving productivity, and managers should not fix themselves to one end of the continuum. Both theory X and theory Y state that managers are responsible for assembling and organising the various factors of production, including their employees, with the goal being to produce maximum economic benefit for the shareholders. However, they take different views around the drivers of employee behaviour. Theory X According to theory X, the average employee is lazy, does not like to work, and will attempt to avoid having to work as much as possible. They also have no ambition or responsibility, and do not care about the performance of the organisation. As such, they will tend to resist any

More about X and Y Theory

Open Document