Theory x theory y and theory z

Douglas McGregor defined two models of worker behavior, Theory X and Theory Y, that attempt to explain how different managers deal with their team members. Theory X managers believe most people do not like work and will try to steer clear of it; they believe people have little to no ambition, need constant supervision, and won't actually perform the duties of their job unless threatened. As a result, Theory X managers are like dictators and impose very rigid controls over their people. They believe people are motivated only by punishment, money, or position. Unfortunately for the team members, Theory X managers unknowingly also subscribe to the Expectancy Theory. If they expect people to be lazy and unproductive and treat them as such, their team members probably will be lazy and unproductive.

Theory Y managers believe people are interested in performing their best given the right motivation and proper expectations. These managers provide support to their teams, are concerned about their team members, and are good listeners. Theory Y managers believe people are creative and committed to the project goals, that they like responsibility and seek it out, and that they are able to perform the functions of their positions with limited supervision.

Theory Z was developed by Dr. William Ouchi. This theory is concerned with increasing employee loyalty to their organizations. It came about in Japan in the 1980s when jobs were often offered for life. This theory results in increased productivity, it puts an emphasis on the well-being of the employees both at work and outside of work, it encourages steady employment, and it leads to high employee satisfaction and morale.

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