Mc Gregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Mc Gregor’s Theory X and Theory Y:

Douglas Mc Gregor stated in his views about human nature in two sets of thoughts. They are commonly known as ‘Theory X’ and ‘Theory Y’.

These two thoughts signify the different kind of models. The models are based upon managerial assumptions about people at work. These are merely based on personal thinking not upon research.

Theory X:

Assumptions under Theory X are negative. According to it people at work must be controlled and directed strictly by manager. These assumptions are as follows.

  • People naturally dislike work and, he will avoid the work whenever possible.
  • As people do not like to work, they must be threatened with punishment to get the work done.
  • Employees usually do not take responsibilities and need formal direction.
  • People do not have capacity to solve problems at workplace.
  • People are uninterested to the organisational goals.
  • Most employees keep physiological and security needs like food shelter clothes above all show little ambition.

Theory X do not treat people as humans rather it treats people as machines. It assumes that people need lot of supervision to get the work done by them. As they are not self motivated towards self development and achievement they are to be managed by threats and negative motivation like punishment.

Theory Y:

Assumptions under theory Y are positive. These assumptions were created as there are many drawbacks of Theory X.  These assumptions are as follows.

  • Employees think that work is enjoyable as child like to play.
  • People are committed to organisational objectives.
  • The average person likes to take responsibility and they like to learn and work effectively.
  • The employees do not like to work under pressure and threat, they are self driven and self motivated.
  • People at work like to solve the problems by their innovation and imagination.

Theory Y assumes that individual goals and organisation goals can be matched. Workers are committed towards personal and organisational objectives. It does not give emphasis on use of authority and threat on workers for getting the tasks completed.  

Theory Z:

Theory Z signifies the acceptance of Japanese management practices by the American corporations. American companies are taking much interest in Japanese management models. Theory Z is a blend of American and Japanese thoughts so it is also known as a hybrid model.

Features of theory Z

Relation of company and employee: Theory Z supports the long term employment and good relationship of people in company. It suggests that organisation should avoid retrenchment and lay off as long as possible. Company should take care of employees needs and should give financial as well as non financial incentives.

Workers participation: Employees’ participation in the organisational decisions and rule making should be supported.  Employees must be consulted and their opinions must be given importance. It will enhance their commitment towards the organisational objectives.

Trust: There should be trust among the employees and also between employer and employees. Attempts should be made to reduce the chances of conflict. This would create relatedness among employees with company.

Team work: The structure of the organisation should be simple and not formal according to theory Z. structure should be based on team work as in case of games. No formal reporting relationships should be there. There should be no normal control system. Development of team spirit occurs in this kind of situation.

Development of individual: The organisation should take care of development of the employees. It should create environment that supports employees to learn new skills and develop themselves for higher positions and better career. Emphasis on job enlargement and career planning should be there.