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Unformatted text preview: to seek it. Bobic and Davis A Kind Word for Theory X • The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and
creativity in the solution of organizational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
• Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the
average human being are only partially utilized (1960, 47– 48).
Theory Y managers assume that the people they supervise are as committed to work and as
capable of ﬁnding solutions to work-related problems as they are themselves (McGregor
1960, 11–12). Theory Y managers also assume that people inherently prefer to work rather
than not to work. As a result, they tend to push responsibility for work down the chain of
command. They grant employees autonomy within their areas of accountability, and they
structure work so that subordinates have ample opportunity to identify problems and ﬁnd
creative solutions to them. Theory Y managers attempt to structure the work environment so
that employee goals coincide with organizational goals, resulting presumably in greater creativity and productivity (McGregor 1967, 77).
Choosing to Be Creative Managers, according to McGregor, must choose between the assumptions of Theory X and
Theory Y management (1967; Strauss 1968, 121). Once they make that choice, their management behavior will change as well. Instead of directive management, a manager who
chooses a Theory Y orientation will also choose strategies that are more collegial and more
likely to transfer power to subordinates or at least create reciprocal relationships between
subordinates and themselves (McGregor 1960, 47– 48; 1967, 15). This is a core component
of McGregor’s approach to management: Managers want employees to perform well, and,
given the right environment and incentives, employees also want to perform well. What is
missing is the right mind-set or “cosmology” through which managers understand their subordinates (Strauss 1968, 121; McGregor 1967, 4–5, 79–80).
CRITIQUES OF MCGREGOR’S MODEL McGregor’s model of motiv...
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