McGregor -Theory X and Theory Y

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McGregor –Theory X and Theory Y

McGregor, an American psychologist, built upon earlier studies into the psychology of the workplace. From these studies he constructed a model of management attitudes, and from this model demonstrated that managers, wittingly or unwittingly, strongly dictated the type and attitude of workers in their employ.

McGregor firstly examined the work of Taylor. In the early 1900's the Classical and Scientific (Taylorian) schools of management, suggested that workers were to be given tasks in their simplest forms. Within such Taylorian businesses, the role of management was to ensure that the simplest, most efficient, and productive working methods were used. Employees would have nothing to contribute but their labour. It can be argued that the early success of Ford Motors was to a large part due to the implementation of this structure.

The second element McGregor used was the more recently developed Human Relations School. Studies performed by students of the Human Relations School, such as Mayo, found that

many employees would produce higher levels of output, and be more aware of quality issues, if they are brought into the decision making that affected their jobs, rather than being just told what to do, and how to do it . There was a recognition by the Human Relations School that employees would have needs over and above those of financial needs. And if these needs were at least partially satisfied workers would become able to contribute to the more efficient operation of the business organisation.

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McGregor then put forward the idea that in the main, it was managers that created the two types of worker, and if this were so, managers had the ability to, over time, change the psychology of their employees.

He called the two types of managers -Theory X and Theory Y

The Theory X Manager

The first of these management styles, is founded upon the "assumption of the mediocrity of the masses". The Theory X type of manager makes several assumptions about his employees, (none of them good):

        Workers must be supervised, or quality and quantity of output will fall
        Workers ...

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***** This essay is an excellent summary of theories of motivation. They explain the points well and analyse the information to explain causes and consequences to a high standard.