A question for those who understand Theory X and Theory Y by Douglas Mcgregor

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by shenfrey, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    As we know Douglas believes there are two types of employees and sorts them into either Theory X or Theory Y categories. Theory X of course being the kind of people who dislike work and feel like their managers are out for them, and feel like they are being controlled and do not really enjoy work and put in minimal effort. Whereas Theory Y is for people where work comes as natural as sleep and play and that these people have self direction and can just knuckle down do the job and do it well.

    What I don't understand is where is the motivational part of this theory? As oppose to defining people it doesn't really do much to talk about how the employee needs to be motivated to be sorted into Theory Y, where as Maslows pyramid theory for example tells us what is required for motivation.

    The reason I speak of this is I am writing an essay on 3 motivational theories and one of them is the X and Y but I just don't see how this theory sets out to motivate people, if anyone could explain this to me I would be thankful.
  2. macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    This Wikipedia article seems to contradict the above statement:
    Theory X and Theory Y have to do with the perceptions managers hold on their employees, ...

    In this theory [Theory X] ... management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. ... A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee.
    The "theories" in that article specifically refer to the beliefs and perceptions managers have about employees and the work done by employees. It says nothing at all about the beliefs or perceptions of employees, regarding either their work or their managers.

    The external links on that page support the interpretation given in the article.

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