Theory X

Developed by Douglas McGregor

A theory about Management Style

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.


  • Work will get done faster because workers will be kept 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
  • More effective when used to motivate a workforce that is not inherently motivated to perform


  • 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
  • Requires that the employees are robotic in performing their duties, they need input in order to produce output
  • Employees are more likely to avoid work or become more distracted once the manager is out of sight
  • Limits employee potential and discourages out-of-the- box thinking.

Centralized Control

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