Theory X and Theory Y

2005 Words9 Pages
McGregor (1960) described two views on human motivation: Theory X and Y. Theory X, the more conventional one, holds the view that people are in themselves not intrinsically motivated to work and even attempt to avoid it, that people have no ambition, are resistant to change, are not particularly intelligent and that people only work for money and security. Management’s objective is to direct employees efforts, motivating them, controlling them and modifying their behavior to ensure that they behave in line with the organization’s needs and goals. In contrast, Theory Y holds the view that work can be child’s play. People are committed, can work autonomous and still reach their work objectives, act responsible and are creative in fulfilling their tasks and dealing with problems. In principle, Theory X and Y are managerial theories, they reflect the propositions managers hold about their subordinates. Typical Theory X management is the traditional management style. Table 1 summarizes the underlying assumptions of both theories. In this essay Theory X and Y are perceived as two ends of one continuum, this means that every individual holds both Theory X and Y- motivation attitudes, but the extent to which these theories prevail within individuals differ. As described in later developed economic agency theory, management driven by theory X assumptions (X management) needs to control behavior very strictly. The agent and principal have a conflict of interest and therefore agency of the agent is needed. Management driven by theory Y assumptions (Y management) would argue that employees need to be motivated by offering opportunities to satisfy their personal needs and by trusting the agent to fulfill their tasks correctly. Theor... ... middle of paper ... financial punishment and reputation loss for the bank and their own dismissal. In this case responsibility should have been taken by the manager preventing subordinates from making hazardous decisions. Opportunistic behavior Recently we have seen plenty of scandals demonstrating that people with good intentions will be tempted to show opportunistic behavior. At a given moment they will succumb to this temptation by self enrichment at the expense of the organization. These behaviors will be familiar with all of us and can be discovered at all organizational levels. Imagine the situation on the end of a 10 hour workday that you and your team members want to go home and the last client walks into the office. everybody wants to bail from giving the client attention he would normally provide. Works Cited McGregor (1960) Johnson (2002) Johnson (1972)
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