The Hard Approach and Soft Approach Under Theory X, management approaches to motivation range from a hard approach to a soft approach . The hard approach to motivation relies on coercion, implicit threats, micromanagement, and tight controls -- essentially an environment of command and control. The soft appoach, however, is to be permissive and seek harmony in the hopes that, in return, employees will cooperate when asked. However, neither of these extremes is optimal. The hard approach results in hostility, purposely low-output, and extreme union demands. The soft approach results in increasing desire for greater reward in exchange for diminishing work output. It would appear that the optimal approach to human resource management would be lie somewhere between these extremes. However, McGregor asserts that neither approach is appropriate since the foundation of Theory X are incorrect. The Problem with Theory X Drawing on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs , McGregor argues that a need, once satisfied, no longer motivates. The company relies on monetary rewards and benefits to satisfy employees' lower level needs. Once those needs have been satisfied, the motivation is gone. Theory X management styles, in fact, hinder the satisfaction of higher-level needs. Consequently, the only way that employees can attempt to satisfy higher level needs at work is to seek more compensation, so it is quite predictable that they will focus on monetary rewards. While money may not be the most effective way to self-fulfillment, in a Theory X environment it may be the only way. People will use work to satisfy their lower needs, and seek to satisfy their higher needs
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- Spring '15
- Management, Douglas McGregor