Saturday, December 7, 2013

Motivation - Theory X & Theory Y

In the last byte, we looked at the hierarchy of needs theory by Maslow. In today's byte, we take a dig at understanding Theory X and Theory Y.

An implication of the need theory of motivation for organizations is important when one is to manage people at work. A simple reorganization by Douglas McGregor was to look at the physiological and safety needs as the "lower order" needs while the remaining three would form the "upper order" needs. We have shown this in the earlier diagram.

He proposed 2 alternative sets of assumptions about people at work based on the need motivators. Following table summarizes the assumptions. [This has been taken from the book "The Human Side of Enterprise" by Douglas M McGregor]

McGregor believed that Theory X assumptions are appropriate for employees motivated by lower order needs. Theory Y assumptions, in contrast, are appropriate for employees motivated by higher order needs.

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