McGregor’s ‘Y’ theory

McGregor’s ‘Y’ theory

Mcgragor was largely influenced by Maslow’s theory of hierarchy of human needs. Mcgragor viewed human needs with emotional commitment. Mcgragor’s Y theory suggests alternate assumptions for the integration of the individual & organisational goals. He wanted selective adoption in managerial strategy. Mcgragor arranged a new set of assumptions which will invite morals & motivation. The following assumptions are embodied in the ‘Y’ Theory :
– The expenditure of physical & mental effort in work is as natural as play & rest.
– Control & punishment are not the only ways to make people work. Man will direct himself if he is committed to the aims of the organisation.
– If a job is satisfying, then the result will be commitment to the organisation.
– The average man learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but to seek responsibility.
– Imagination, creativity, ingenuity can be used to solve work problems by a large number of employees.
– Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentials of the average man are only partially used & utilised.
Mcgragor’s ‘Y’ theory attacks on the ‘X’ theory that employees are lazy, indifferent & are disliker of accepting responsibility. They are uncooperative. Mcgragor argued that it is not the fault of human nature but of manager’s strategy of control. If there is an integration in the behaviour of employees, the organisational goals could be
How the integrity amongst the employees can be achieved? The employees should have self control. Integration & self control can be possible if the individual needs & organisational needs are properly recognised. Mcgragor’s theory aims to encourage & create motivation amongst employees. This is a way to innovation.
Mcgragor had a deep knowledge of individual Psychology & group sociology, which he wanted to offer to modern management. So he wanted to establish a high co-relation between the acceptance of responsibility & commitment to the objectives of the organisation.
The motivational performance of employees through self control & integrative behaviour can bring better results. The employees should be given greater opportunities to play an active part in decisions affecting their careers.
The Scanlon plan :
Based upon the ‘Y’ Theory, Mcgragor, further collaborated with Fredrick Hesiaur, who was carrying research on union Management Cooperation, popularly, known as Scanlon plan. The Scanlon plan is consistent with ‘Y’ theory of Mcgragor. The Scanlon plan is based upon two central features –

1) lost reduction sharing

2) effective participation.

The Scanlon plan proposes that, ‘used wisely & with understanding participation is a natural commitment of management by integration & self control.’

The relevance of ‘Y’ theory

‘The Human side of the Enterprise of Mcgregor aims to educate future manager, professional manager. He wanted to bridge the organisational goals with the aims, values & methodology of behavioural science. To him, management styles & strategies should be evolved & continuously adjusted in the light of the empirical reality, consistent with the findings of behavioural knowledge. This makes his theory relevant with practice. He also had an assumption that managment science has transnational influence.’
One important relevance of Y Theory of Mcgregor, to modern industry is related to the Line & Staff Agencies in the organisation. Modern industries are mostly operated by skilled staff. Their knowledge & experience influence decision making process in the organisation. The ‘Line’ employee increasingly depend upon specialised staff. However, the ‘Y’ theory of Mcgregor, can coordinate Line – staff relationship. The conflict between Line & staff
bring lowered commitment to organisational objectives. The ‘Y’ theory establishes improved human resources, either for resolving conflicts or taking best decisions. Magregor had also written on leadership qualities of a manager. He had placed an idea of integration within the conceptual mould of transnational concept of
power & influence.

Discussing and resolving the conflicts within the organisation, Mcgregor suggests three strategies to be adopted a) divide & rule b) suppression of differences & c) working through of differences.

The first two are based upon ‘X’ theory, whereas the third one is based upon ‘Y’ theory.

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