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What is Theory X and Theory Y of motivation?

  • Theory X and Theory Y were first explained by McGregor in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise," and they refer to two styles of management – authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).
  • If you believe that your team members dislike their work and have little motivation, then, according to McGregor, you'll likely use an authoritarian style of management. McGregor called this Theory X.
  • If you believe that your people take pride in their work and see it as a challenge , then you'll more likely adopt a participative management style. Managers who use this approach trust their people.....
  • .....to take ownership of their work and do it effectively by themselves. McGregor called this Theory Y.
  • The approach that you take will have a significant impact on your ability to motivate your team members. So, it's important to understand how your perceptions of what motivates them can shape your management style.
  • Theory X
  • Theory X managers tend to take a pessimistic view of their people, and assume that they are naturally unmotivated and dislike work.
  • As a result, they think that team members need to be prompted, rewarded or punished constantly to make sure that they complete their tasks.
  • This style of management assumes that workers
  • •Dislike their work; Avoid responsibility and need constant direction; Have to be controlled, forced and threatened to deliver work; Need to be supervised at every step....
  • .....Have no incentive to work or ambition, and therefore need to be enticed by rewards to achieve goals.
  • According to McGregor, organizations with a Theory X approach tend to have several tiers of managers and supervisors to oversee and direct workers.
  • Managers are more authoritarian and actively intervene to get things done.
  • Theory Y
  • Theory Y managers have an optimistic, positive opinion of their people, and they use a decentralized, participative management style. This encourages a more collaborative , trust-based relationship between.....
  • Theory Y managers have an optimistic, positive opinion of their people, and they use a decentralized, participative management style. This encourages a more collaborative , trust-based relationship between.....
  • ....managers and their team members.
  • Theory Y organizations also give employees frequent opportunities for promotion.
  • This style of management assumes that workers are
  • Happy to work on their own initiative; More involved in decision making; Self-motivated to complete their tasks; Enjoy taking ownership of their work; Seek and accept responsibility, and need little direction.....
  • ...View work as fulfilling and challenging; Solve problems creatively and imaginatively.
  • Theory Y has become more popular among organizations. This reflects workers' increasing desire for more meaningful careers that provide them with more than just money.
  • Most managers will likely use a mixture of Theory X and Theory Y. You may, however, find that you naturally favor one over the other.
  • You might, for instance, have a tendency to micromanage or, conversely, you may prefer to take a more hands-off approach .

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