Application of theory x and y pdf

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application of theory x and y pdf

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In his book, The Human Side of Enterprise , McGregor proposed two theories by which managers perceive and address employee motivation. He referred to these opposing motivational methods as Theory X and Theory Y management.

Work is changing. And the approach to and requirements of leadership are changing with it. The modern manager knows how to distribute responsibility, instill trust in their employees, and motivate team members to deliver their best work and ideas. But there are times when management is less about leadership and more about the staunch enforcement of rules and micromanagement of production.

Motivation - McGregor (Theory X & Theory Y)

During the past 30 years, managers have been bombarded with two competing approaches to the problems of human administration and organization. The first, usually called the classical school of organization, emphasizes the need for well-established lines of authority, clearly defined jobs, and authority equal to responsibility.

The second, often called the participative approach, focuses on […]. The second, often called the participative approach, focuses on the desirability of involving organization members in decision making so that they will be more highly motivated. The classical organizational approach that McGregor associated with Theory X does work well in some situations, although, as McGregor himself pointed out, there are also some situations where it does not work effectively.

At the same time, the approach based on Theory Y, while it has produced good results in some situations, does not always do so. That is, each approach is effective in some cases but not in others. Why is this? How can managers resolve the confusion? Recent work by a number of students of management and organization may help to answer such questions.

Enterprises with highly predictable tasks perform better with organizations characterized by the highly formalized procedures and management hierarchies of the classical approach. With highly uncertain tasks that require more extensive problem solving, on the other hand, organizations that are less formalized and emphasize self-control and member participation in decision making are more effective.

In essence, according to these newer studies, managers must design and develop organizations so that the organizational characteristics fit the nature of the task to be done.

While the conclusions of this newer approach will make sense to most experienced managers and can alleviate much of the confusion about which approach to choose, there are still two important questions unanswered:.

How does the more formalized and controlling organization affect the motivation of organization members? Equally important, does a less formalized organization always provide a high level of motivation for its members? Our study was conducted in four organizational units. Two of these performed the relatively certain task of manufacturing standardized containers on high-speed, automated production lines. The other two performed the relatively uncertain work of research and development in communications technology.

The study design is summarized in Exhibit I. Exhibit I. The objective was to explore more fully how the fit between organization and task was related to successful performance. That is, does a good fit between organizational characteristics and task requirements increase the motivation of individuals and hence produce more effective individual and organizational performance?

An especially useful approach to answering this question is to recognize that an individual has a strong need to master the world around him, including the task that he faces as a member of a work organization. But, first, we had to define what kinds of organizational characteristics would determine how appropriate the organization was to the particular task.

Formal characteristics, which could be used to judge the fit between the kind of task being worked on and the formal practices of the organization. Climate characteristics, or the subjective perceptions and orientations that had developed among the individuals about their organizational setting. These too must fit the task to be performed if the organization is to be effective. We measured these attributes through questionnaires and interviews with about 40 managers in each unit to determine the appropriateness of the organization to the kind of task being performed.

We also measured the feelings of competence of the people in the organizations so that we could link the appropriateness of the organizational attributes with a sense of competence. The principal findings of the survey are best highlighted by contrasting the highly successful Akron plant and the high-performing Stockton laboratory. Because each performed very different tasks the former a relatively certain manufacturing task and the latter a relatively uncertain research task , we expected, as brought out earlier, that there would have to be major differences between them in organizational characteristics if they were to perform effectively.

And this is what we did find. But we also found that each of these effective units had a better fit with its particular task than did its less effective counterpart. While our major purpose in this article is to explore how the fit between task and organizational characteristics is related to motivation, we first want to explore more fully the organizational characteristics of these units, so the reader will better understand what we mean by a fit between task and organization and how it can lead to more effective behavior.

To do this, we shall place the major emphasis on the contrast between the high-performing units the Akron plant and Stockton laboratory , but we shall also compare each of these with its less effective mate the Hartford plant and Carmel laboratory respectively. Beginning with differences in formal characteristics, we found that both the Akron and Stockton organizations fit their respective tasks much better than did their less successful counterparts.

In the predictable manufacturing task environment, Akron had a pattern of formal relationships and duties that was highly structured and precisely defined. Stockton, with its unpredictable research task, had a low degree of structure and much less precision of definition see Exhibit II.

Exhibit II. Differences in Formal Characteristics in High-performing Organizations. People around here do produce, and produce under relaxed conditions.

Why tamper with success? These differences in formal organizational characteristics were well suited to the differences in tasks of the two organizations. With such an unpredictable, fast-changing task as communications technology research, there were numerous approaches to getting the job done well. As a consequence, Stockton managers used a less structured pattern of formal practices that left the scientists in the lab free to respond to the changing task situation. Formal reports and reviews were made only quarterly, reflecting the fact that research often does not come to fruition for three to five years.

At the two less effective sites i. A scientist in Carmel commented:. As with formal practices, the climate in both high-performing Akron and Stockton suited the respective tasks much better than did the climates at the less successful Hartford and Carmel sites.

The people in the Akron plant perceived a great deal of structure, with their behavior tightly controlled and defined. One manager in the plant said:. We lose money whenever they do. So we make sure each man knows his job, knows when he can take a break, knows how to handle a change in shifts, etc.

In contrast, the scientists in the Stockton laboratory perceived very little structure, with their behavior only minimally controlled. Such perceptions encouraged the individualistic and creative behavior that the uncertain, rapidly changing research task needed. The Akron plant and the Stockton laboratory also differed substantially in how influence was distributed and on the character of superior-subordinate and colleague relations.

The task at Akron had already been clearly defined and that definition had, in a sense, been incorporated into the automated production flow itself. Therefore, there was less need for individuals to have a say in decisions concerning the work process. They also described the type of supervision in the plant as being relatively directive.

They described supervision in the laboratory as being very participatory. It is interesting to note that the less successful Carmel laboratory had more of its decisions made at the top.

Because of this, there was a definite feeling by the scientists that their particular expertise was not being effectively used in choosing projects. The people at Akron perceived a great deal of similarity among themselves in background, prior work experiences, and approaches for tackling job-related problems.

They also perceived the degree of coordination of effort among colleagues to be very high. This was appropriate for a laboratory in which a great variety of disciplines and skills were present and individual projects were important to solve technological problems. They responded to quick feedback concerning the quality and service that the plant was providing.

This was essential, given the nature of their task. These orientations meant that they were willing to wait for long-term feedback from a research project that might take years to complete.

A scientist in Stockton said:. We can wait for months if necessary before we get feedback from colleagues and the profession. I can live with that, though. In Akron, the technology of the task was so dominant that top managerial behavior which was not focused primarily on the task might have reduced the effectiveness of performance. Given the individualistic bent of the scientists, this was an important force in achieving unity of effort. All these differences in climate characteristics in the two high performers are summarized in Exhibit III.

Exhibit III. As with formal attributes, the less effective Hartford and Carmel sites had organization climates that showed a perceptibly lower degree of fit with their respective tasks. For example, the Hartford plant had an egalitarian distribution of influence, perceptions of a low degree of structure, and a more participatory type of supervision.

The Carmel laboratory had a somewhat top-heavy distribution of influence, perceptions of high structure, and a more directive type of supervision. Because of the difference in organizational characteristics at Akron and Stockton, the two sites were strikingly different places in which to work.

But these organizations had two very important things in common. First, each organization fit very well the requirements of its task. Second, although the behavior in the two organizations was different, the result in both cases was effective task performance. Since, as we indicated earlier, our primary concern in this study was to link the fit between organization and task with individual motivation to perform effectively, we devised a two-part test to measure the sense of competence motivation of the individuals at both sites.

The first part asked a participant to write creative and imaginative stories in response to six ambiguous pictures. The results indicated that the individuals in Akron and Stockton showed significantly more feelings of competence than did their counterparts in the lower-fit Hartford and Carmel organizations. This interdependency is illustrated in Exhibit IV. Putting the conclusions in this form raises the question of cause and effect. Does effective unit performance result from the task-organization fit or from higher motivation, or perhaps from both?

Does higher sense of competence motivation result from effective unit performance or from fit? Our answer to these questions is that we do not think there are any single cause-and-effect relationships, but that these factors are mutually interrelated. This has important implications for management theory and practice. While Theory Y might help to explain the findings in the two laboratories, we clearly need something other than Theory X or Y assumptions to explain the findings in the plants.

For example, the managers at Akron worked in a formalized organization setting with relatively little participation in decision making, and yet they were highly motivated. According to Theory X, people would work hard in such a setting only because they were coerced to do so. According to Theory Y, they should have been involved in decision making and been self-directed to feel so motivated. Nothing in our data indicates that either set of assumptions was valid at Akron. Conversely, the managers at Hartford, the low-performing plant, were in a less formalized organization with more participation in decision making, and yet they were not as highly motivated like the Akron managers.

The Theory Y assumptions would suggest that they should have been more motivated.

Theory X and Theory Y

He did not imply that workers would be one type or the other. Rather, he saw the two theories as two extremes - with a whole spectrum of possible behaviours in between. The management implications for Theory X workers were that, to achieve organisational objectives, a business would need to impose a management system of coercion, control and punishment. Depending on the working conditions, work could be considered a source of satisfaction or punishment. The management implications for Theory X workers are that, to achieve organisational objectives, rewards of varying kinds are likely to be the most popular motivator.

PDF | On Nov 1, , Mohammad Saiful Islam and others published Application of Mcgregor's Theory X and Theory Y: Perception of.

Theory X and Theory Y

Although influential value of this theory in organization history might be approved, there are two primary issues, invalidity and superficial recognition, which criticisms revolve around. In contrast to the principles of conventional management mentioned as Theory X, the advocated Theory Y illuminated a cluster of new or redefined concepts such as self-fulfilling prophecy and responsibility. Based on these compiled conceptions, this theory takes higher-order needs into consideration, which innovatively introduces a profound work value that management should not only involve controlling and monitoring. Moreover, the inclination to responsibility of employees contributes to participative atmospheres in working environment. Therefore, this theory, revealing an initial pattern of management strategy, dramatically influences the applied field of organization development.

These theories are based on the premise that management has to assemble all the factors of production, including human beings, to get the work done. McGregor believed that management can use either of the needs to motivate his employees, as grouped under theory X and theory Y. But however, the theory Y yields better results than the theory X, how?

During the past 30 years, managers have been bombarded with two competing approaches to the problems of human administration and organization. The first, usually called the classical school of organization, emphasizes the need for well-established lines of authority, clearly defined jobs, and authority equal to responsibility. The second, often called the participative approach, focuses on […]. The second, often called the participative approach, focuses on the desirability of involving organization members in decision making so that they will be more highly motivated.


The purpose of this research paper is to study the application of well-known theory X and theory Y in the banking sector of Bangladesh based on the perception of management toward the employees.

Managerial Belief Systems: Douglas McGregor’s Theory X vs Theory Y

The paper identifies major management approaches cited by McGregor as being examples of his Theory Y management principles. The paper traces the historical development of each of these approaches and their application today. This paper reviews McGregor's original article, then traces the historical development and application of McGregor's major concepts through the identification and review of relevant historical and contemporary literature. Major findings provide strong evidence that McGregor's Theory Y concepts and related management approaches have grown in application, are closely related to appreciative inquiry and social construction.

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Theory X and Theory Y are theories of human work motivation and management. The two theories proposed by McGregor describe contrasting models of workforce motivation applied by managers in human resource management , organizational behavior , organizational communication and organizational development. Theory X explains the importance of heightened supervision, external rewards, and penalties, while Theory Y highlights the motivating role of job satisfaction and encourages workers to approach tasks without direct supervision. Management use of Theory X and Theory Y can affect employee motivation and productivity in different ways, and managers may choose to implement strategies from both theories into their practices. McGregor also believed that self-actualization was the highest level of reward for employees.

The main purpose of the study is to discuss the application of theory X and Y in classroom management, by explaining the meaning of motivation, theory X and Y​.

McGregor's legacy: the evolution and current application of Theory Y management