Comparison and Contrast on Theory XY and Z

Essay by maile1911University, Bachelor's December 2003

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Comparison and Contrast on Theory XY and Z

Douglas McGregor suggested that there are two different ways in which we can look at workers attitudes toward work. Each of these views, which McGregor called Theory X and Theory Y, has implications for management.

Theory X ('authoritarian management' style)

-People do not really like to work and will avoid it if at all possible so they must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to get them to work.

-The average worker avoids responsibility, is unambitious and wants security more than anything else.

-Management based on Theory X is paternalistic at best and, at very least, authoritarian.

-Rewards and punishment are assumed in this theory to be the key to employee productivity.

Theory X managers believe that workers are only motivated by one thing - money. They are selfish, lazy and hate work. They need to be closely controlled and directed.

Theory Y ('participative management' style)

The theory Y is to some extent the opposite image of X

-Effort in work is as natural as rest and play.

-People will apply self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives, and the external control or the threat of punishment is not the only means of getting them to work.

-Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement. The most important reward: satisfaction of their own ego needs.

-People usually accept and often seek responsibility.

-Creativity, ingenuity, and imagination are widely distributed among the population. People are capable of using these abilities to solve an organizational problem.

-In modern industry the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilized.

Theory Y managers believe that Workers are motivated by many different factors apart from money. They enjoy their work and they will happily take on responsibility...