This paper aims to provide a reinforcement of the above school of thought, by examining the practical application of sound human resource management principles laid out in accordance with the theories outlined in MIT Sloan School of Management educator Douglas McGregor's classic work, 'The Human Side of Enterprise (1960)", in which he identified an approach of creating an environment within which employees are motivated by two theories, named by him as Theory X and Theory Y. He was the advocate of Theory Y, which is the practical application of Dr. Abraham Maslow's Humanistic School of Psychology, in another interrelated classic work, "A Theory of Human Motivation (1943)".
The paper aims to seek the reasons why one theory prevails over another, as we take a look into the practical implications of the theories in actual examples from the corporate world.
Conceptual background: Theory X and Theory Y are at the centre of the human motivation principles outlined in McGregor's work. These are the main postulates of both theories (McGregor, 1960):
Theory X: In this the...
The average human being likes to be directed, and mainly desires security above everything else. The main consequence being, that it leads to a more authoritarian style of management in the concerned company which may not favour the company's business interests in the longer run.
Theory Y: In this theory, management assumes that employees are ambitious, self-motivated, eager to accept greater responsibility, and exercise self-control and self-direction, taking an optimistic view. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work activities, and thus desire to be imaginative and creative in their jobs, when given a chance. There is always an opportunity for greater productivity by giving employees the freedom to do their best. In no uncertain terms, a Theory Y manager would believe, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work and there is always a pool of unused creativity in the workforce. They believe that the satisfaction of doing a good job is a strong motivation in itself, and the ultimate goal of a sound HR professional is to remove the barriers that prevent workers from fully actualizing themselves.
Modern critics argue that both theories are seldom used explicitly, in any organisation. It is common sense understanding, the theories per se represent unrealistic extremes. Most employers (and employees) fall somewhere relative to the extreme values, and hence,