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Unformatted text preview: “You’ll notice that I stress a great deal improvising and inspiration. . . .”
Maslow believed that creativity and innovation were interchangeable terms, that a creative
person seeks to change things, to challenge existing paradigms, to ﬁnd new ways of doing
things (1999, 200–202, for example).3 Douglas McGregor also assumed that creativity and
innovation were indistinguishable. He claimed that “the capacity to exercise a relatively
high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity” to solve problems is widely distributed
among people (1960, 48). McGregor’s examples in THSE of good or successful applications
of Theory Y methods generally include examples of managers who innovate by recreating
Note the use of rhetorical terminology: passive.
Maslow did wrestle with the concept of adaptive creativity (1999, 152–155), but the bulk of his work shows a
preference for, and perhaps tacit approval of, innovative creativity. 2
3 243 244 Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory their jobs or by redeﬁning a problem. Moreover, throughout the text, McGregor’s emphasis
is on breaking current paradigms, seeing problems from different perspectives, and on “relationships, rather than control” (1960, 121). McGregor shared Maslow’s belief that everyone
had the potential to be self-actualized. The question remained: Why weren’t they?
Needs and Work: Theory X and Theory Y For McGregor, Maslow offered a new interpretation of the work environment, one in which
managers worked to facilitate the development of each employee’s potential by organizing
work to meet the needs most workers were presumably seeking to satisfy: the needs for esteem
and self-actualization (McGregor 1960, 41– 42). McGregor believed that most managers’
theories of motivation and most work tasks were not ordered to allow workers to satisfy these
higher-level needs (1967, 76). People were not encouraged to be innovative.
McGregor believed that the key to understanding these management failures was to
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