There are three reasons to reject this criticism it

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Unformatted text preview: npredictable needs” (1960, 185). Kirton himself could not have stated it more succinctly. Final Concerns Much of the criticism above is based on social scientific investigations of various propositions made by Maslow and McGregor. It may be argued that such analysis is unfair because McGregor never considered his work to be scientific (Strauss 1968; Schrage 2000) and because McGregor’s work encompassed more than a simple set of testable hypotheses. Three Bobic and Davis A Kind Word for Theory X points stand out. First, McGregor considered his work to be based on years of social scientific research (1960, 5–7; 1967, 6). Second, he fully expected his work to generate scholarly interest and testable hypotheses (McGregor 1967, 55). Third, his work has generated social scientific interest and controversy. It may be argued that much of the evidence presented here is immaterial to McGregor’s core ideas. McGregor’s discussion of management is directed not toward first-line supervisors or their subordinates but toward those who manage managers (1960, 55), yet much of the research presented here explores relationships between line managers and subordinates. There are three reasons to reject this criticism. It is clear that McGregor considered first-line supervision to be a unique position (1960, 1961; quoted in Bennis, Schein, and McGregor 1966, 27). Nevertheless, he also expected future research to find ways to adapt Theory Y ideas to these circumstances (1960, 55; quoted in Bennis, Schein, and McGregor 1966, 27). McGregor clearly believed that management science could progress only to the degree that scholars abandoned Theory X assumptions and pursued research based on Theory Y assumptions (1960, 245). Such progress (he believed) would benefit all workers in the long run. For our purposes, the question remains: Was McGregor premature in dismissing the theoretical importance of Theory X assumptions? We now present a (relatively mild) defense of Theory X management. A KIND WOR...
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