X&Y Theory by Douglas McGregor

William Meller - X&Y Theory by Douglas McGregor
Theory X and Theory Y were first explained by McGregor in his book and they refer to two styles of management: authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).

In the past 30 years, managers have been bombarded with two competing approaches to human administration and organization. 

The classical organizational theory emphasizes clearly defined roles, well-established authority lines, and authority corresponding to responsibility. 

In the second approach, sometimes called the participative approach, organizational members are involved in decision-making in order to increase their motivation.

McGregor developed two contrasting theories in the 1960s to explain how managers' beliefs about what motivates their employees can influence their management style. 

The two theories were labeled Theory X and Theory Y by him. 

Theory X: McGregor suggests that an authoritarian management style is likely to be used if your team members dislike their work and have little motivation. In this approach, people's work is micromanaged to ensure that it gets done correctly. 

Theory Y: You will be more likely to adopt a participative management style if you believe that your people take pride in their work and see it as a challenge. This approach allows managers to trust their employees to do their work effectively on their own.

It is McGregor’s conclusion, of course, that the latter approach to organization is the more desirable one for managers to follow.

I think it is important to know that it was a very different time when Douglas McGregor began working on the human side of businesses. 

Management style is largely determined by your assumptions and how you assess your people's needs and wants. 

You should, however, challenge your assumptions and regularly review the individual requirements of each member of your team. 

Your approach will be adapted accordingly as a result.

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