This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: then where one is on the hierarchy of needs is irrelevant. Kirton and Hammond
(1980) demonstrated that adapters were as likely to be self-actualized as innovators, which
contradicted most of Maslow’s deﬁnitions of self-actualizers and self-actualization. Second, if Kirton was correct, then McGregor’s assumption that managers can change their assumptions (1960, 46, 245) may not be possible for most managers. Third, research by Kirton (1984) and Bobic, Davis, and Cunningham (1999) contradicted McGregor’s assertion
that changing one’s assumptions will lead to changed behavior (1960, 48, 62 and the following pages; 1967, 79).
McGregor assumed that all people are innovative, but Kirton’s studies indicated that
adaptive personalities tend to dominate certain occupations. Using an inventory to assess the
tendency of a respondent to use adaptive or innovative approaches to problem solving, Kirton discovered that ﬁrst-line supervisors such as manufacturing or plant managers, accounts
supervisors, machinist superintendents, and the like tended to be adaptive in their approaches to problems (Kirton 1985a). Secondary managers, personnel managers, and “upper
managers” tended toward the innovative approach to problem solving (Kirton 1985a).
What would McGregor have thought of this work? He would most likely have disagreed deeply with the idea that types of creativity are ingrained in people. He would have
accepted the importance of building teams whose members had complementary creative
styles. Nonetheless, Kirton and McGregor agreed on several points. First, they agreed that
management is a complex social interaction, not a simple mechanical process (see McGregor 1960, 105). Second, they agreed that people do bring assumptions about human behavior to the management task. They agreed that managers must consider the natures of the
people they manage. In the end, had McGregor lived to see Kirton’s work, we believe he
would have incorporated Kirton’s ﬁndings into his own research. He hinted at such when he
noted that “one of management’s major tasks . . . is to provide a heterogeneous supply of
human resources from which individuals can be selected to ﬁll a variety of speciﬁc but u...
View Full Document