Bobic-and-Davis-A-Kind-Word-for-Theory-X

Most people must be coerced controlled directed and

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Unformatted text preview: and how the assumptions or mental models that managers used to interpret workers’ actions and behaviors led them into specific counterproductive behaviors (1960, 33). McGregor believed that the average manager operated under a set of assumptions he called classical management, or Theory X management: • People dislike work and will avoid it if possible. • Most people must be “coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them” to work (McGregor 1960, 33–34). • The average human prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has little ambition, and wants security. These assumptions lead managers to deny employees control over their work environment and to use methods of influence that are direct and harsh. Theory X managers emphasize the chain of command, reward-or-punishment motivational techniques, and close supervision of subordinate behavior along rigidly defined behavioral parameters. McGregor argued that classical management practice was hindering rather than helping organizations solve problems, meet goals, and deliver a product in a reliable manner (1960, 62–64; 1966, 29–30). A Theory X management style assumes that people are interested in safety and physiological needs rather than higher needs, but McGregor believed that workers in the 1950s had moved beyond lower needs and were seeking to meet social or esteem needs (1960, 40). Based on that conclusion, he proposed a new set of managerial assumptions, which he called Theory Y management: • The expenditure of physical and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest. • External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort toward organizational objectives. Man will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which he is committed. • Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement. • The average human being learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept responsibility but...
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