The McGregor Theory

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The onset of the industrial revolution in the late 19 century created a host of new challenges for the managers. Some of these challenges included the need to increase the workforce effectiveness. Therefore, early futurist suggested theories that they believe if applied would result in higher management efficiency. Such theory were based on the fundamental believe that employee should be actively supervised and monitored (Jone & George 2008). However, Douglas McGregor challenged this notion. Through his extensive work he established two theories, which defined the assumption held about employees’ attitude towards work. These assumption automatically influenced workers productivity (Kopelman, Prottas, Davis 2008; Tatham, Waldaman, Bennis 2010). It is therefore imperative to examine them hence determine their practicability, especially in the 21st Century.

Douglas McGregor, a prominent figure in the evolution of management theory, made significant contribution in behavioural theory. His notable contribution was documented in his ‘book the human side of enterprises’ published in 1960 (Kopelman, Prottas, Davis 2008). Here he suggested a paradigm shift in the belief and perception managers had about their employees. Whereas the previous theories had suggested the need for employees to be authoritatively controlled and guided, McGregor thought otherwise. He outlined that managers should instead adapt are motivator and role model approach and hence model the desired employee behaviour (Tatham, Waldaman, Bennis 2010). Unfortunately, McGregor (1960) established that most manager perceive their employee negatively; He categorized this kind of assumption under Theory X (classical system theory). Manager ascribing to this assu...

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...propriate for 21st century managers. The success of current organization will highly depend on how they treat their workforce.

Works Cited

Heil,G, Bennis, W, & Stephens, D 2000, Douglas McGregor Revisited: Managing The

Human Side of Enterprise, John Wiley & Sons, N. Y.

Jones, G & George, JM 2008, Management Theory: Contemporary Approach, McGraw,


Kopelman, RE, Prottas, DJ & Davis, AL 2008, ‘Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Y:

toward a construct-valid measure’, Journal of Managerial Issues, vol. 20, no. 2, Summer, pp. 255-271, retrieved 1 March 2011, ABI Inform database.

McGregor, D 1960, The Human Side of Enterprise, McGraw-Hill,Inc, N.Y.

Tatham, K, Waldaman, H & Bennis 2010, ‘Using Douglas McGregor Theoretical Model

to Achieve Management Effectiveness in the 21ST Century’ Academic

leadership Journal, vol.13, no. 12, pp 212-243.
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