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Unformatted text preview: islike 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.
The ﬁrst assumption has been the subject of great debate in Western philosophy. Tausky
(1992) argues that there is nothing in theology or psychology to support the notion that all
people by human nature inherently like or dislike work. What seems to be more realistic is
that any individual’s attitude toward work is a function of many sociological factors; the
“desirability or loathsomeness” of work is likely to be a matter of individual development
rather than a matter of human nature. Tausky’s work underscores the dangers of using either
Theory X or Theory Y assumptions as a general rule of management. It is more likely that
some people dislike work and others like it (Tausky 1992, 8). Thus, the ﬁrst characteristic
needs some modiﬁcation.
The second assumption seems overly harsh (McGregor 1960, 36). It would mean that
managers believe that their subordinates need to be directed and controlled in the execution
of their duties. This assumption may result from various factors including a lack of knowledge on the part of subordinates, the consequences of poor performance of a speciﬁc task,
the risks associated with a job, or a manager’s belief that he or she knows the job more thoroughly than his or her subordinates (Wilkinson, Godfrey, and Marchington 1997). The ﬁnal
assumption likewise seems to be a caricature of employees who seek direction and desire
job security. Thus, a more realistic Theory X model assumes the following:
• Many people dislike work and will avoid it if possible.
• Many people must be controlled and directed in the execution of their tasks.
• Managers know more about a job and its requirements than do subordinates.
• Most subordinates conform to rules and are efﬁcient and...
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