Theory X

Douglas McGregor

Who's Idea Was the Theory and What Was the Main Idea?

Type X individuals are considered to be inherently lazy and not fond of their jobs. As a result, an authoritarian management style is required to ensure that individuals fulfill their objectives. Workers managed this way need to be closely supervised under comprehensive systems of control. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each and every level. This assumes that employees are naturally unmotivated and dislike working, and this encourages an authoritarian style of management. According to this view, management must actively intervene to get things done.

What is the Manager's Perspective?

Theory X managers must rely heavily on the threat of punishment to gain compliance of employees. When practiced, this theory can lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision and a punitive atmosphere.

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What is the Employee's Perspective?

According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility when they can.

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Is it Centralized or Decentralized?

There is little delegation of authority and control remains firmly centralized.

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The work will get done faster because the managers will be micro-managing the workers and keeping them on task. Work will be done like clockwork with little room for error, because of the time and quality limits being placed on the worker.

This managerial style is more effective when used to motivate a workforce that is not inherently motivated to perform

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With this theory there is often a higher rate of poor job satisfaction, because the manager does not trust the employee to do the appropriate work on his or her own. This theory requires that the employees are robotic in performing their duties, they need input in order to produce output. Also the employees are more likely to avoid work or become more distracted once the manager is out of sight.

One major flaw of this management style is that it limits employee potential and discourages out of the box thinking.

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What is an example of your theory?

A Theory X type manager would be more inclined to use tangible rewards as incentives. They assume their authority is resented and adopt regulations that are designed to enforce compliance.

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