I am stacking up the theories of human motivation and management here at SeekingAzoth.com!
As promised in the last post, today’s will feature an alternative view to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and after much research I settled on Theory X and Theory Y, developed by psychologist Douglas McGregor in the 1960s. McGregor’s theories focus primarily on the management of employees and the features of motivation applied by managers to their staff. With that in mind, I feel it can be applied out with the workplace and in day to day life.
Theory X – Managers who follow this theory typically take a pessimistic view of their staff and they are of the opinion that staff are generally unmotivated and do not like to work. Manager who are Theory X believers continually keep on top of their staff, providing direction and guidance, to get tasks completed. It seems that Theory X goes above cracking the whip so to speak and that financial or other rewards are needed by Theory X managers to get optimal results from staff.
For me, Theory X seems to be appropriate for the highest percentage. I am sure you all have a co-worker or friend who simply work to live and are not ever motivated to either be promoted or take part in lateral movement. I think X also seems to be pointing towards a very authoritarian style of management whereby scrutiny and performance indicators are simply going to be the culture.
Also, Theory X will require levels upon levels of management to maintain a level of level throughout the entire organisation and not allow lax behaviour at any level. There is a clear indication that Theory X will require hard working and over bearing managers to get results from staff.
Theory Y – Not surprisingly, Theory Y is the complete opposite of Y..........It relies on staff being
motivated; being interested in bettering themselves within their role whilst also taking an interest in the goals and missions statements of the organisation. It may lead to there being a more laid back approach in the workplace, elements of closer relationship between management and staff will also feature. This is due to a general acceptance that staff and managers both have a common goal and that all employees are there for the benefit of the company. As an employee, I feel this is beneficial as there will be a more positive feeling of belonging and staff having a positive relationship with managerial staff will ensure employees feel a sense of importance.
In comparing both Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and McGregor’s X and Y theory, it seems to me that Theory Y is close in comparison to the Hierarchy. Theory Y managers focus on individuals within the workplace and concentrate on employees bettering themselves and believing in the goals of the organisation. I believe that Theory Y manager will assist in assisting employees to gain those high levels of needs that Maslow documented. If I was to choose, I would be an advocate of Theory Y and not pushing for a Theory X authoritarian style.
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