Involves employees in decision-making, but retains the power to implement decisions. Douglas McGregor influenced the study of motivation by formulating two contrasting sets of assumptions about human nature called Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X says that people don't like to work and that they will avoid it if they can. Since people don't like to work, you have to control, direct or threaten them to make an effort.
Theory Y says that people want to be self-directed and will try to achieve the goals they believe in. Workers can be motivated with positive incentives. McGregor personally believed that the assumptions of Theory Y describe most employees and that managers who seek to motivate subordinates should develop management practices based on those assumptions. Managers can start this process by considering how safe the task is, how often feedback on task performance is available, and what objectives are implicit in the task.
Working in organizations that are managed in this way can be repetitive, and people are often motivated by a carrot and stick approach. This encourages a more collaborative and trust-based relationship between managers and their team members. While both management styles can motivate people, the success of each will largely depend on the needs and desires of the team and the objectives of the organization. In general, Theory X-style managers believe that their employees are less intelligent, lazier and work solely for a sustainable income.
Although the management of Theory X has gone out of style in recent times, large organizations may realize that adopting it is inevitable due to the enormous number of people they employ and the tight deadlines they have to meet. Management's use of Theory X and Theory Y can affect employee motivation and productivity in different ways, and managers may choose to implement strategies from both theories in their practices. On the other hand, if you think that your employees take pride in their work and see it as a challenge, you will most likely adopt a participatory management style. Each pair of units that performed the same type of tasks belonged to the same large company, and company management had previously evaluated that each pair contained a highly effective unit and a less effective one.
This management style assumes that the typical worker has little ambition, avoids responsibility and is oriented to individual objectives. Emotional intelligence refers to a person's ability to manage and control their emotions and also to have the ability to control the emotions of others. An organization with this management style encourages participation and values people's thoughts and objectives. Theory Y managers have an optimistic view of their people and use a decentralized and participatory management style.
However, since there is no optimal way for a manager to choose between adopting theory X or theory Y, they will likely need to adopt both approaches depending on changing circumstances and levels of internal and external control throughout the workplace. The Management Study Guide is a complete tutorial for management students, where students can learn basic and advanced concepts related to management and its related subjects. Therefore, it's important to understand how their perceptions of what motivates them can shape their management style.