What is McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y?

Theory X and theory Y developed by Douglas McGregor are two perspectives by which people have a different attitude in relation to the management of people and work. This means that, depending on our focus, we will see the work as one way or another.

It is a challenging approach to Taylorism, conceiving the worker as capable of self-directing, accepting responsibilities and without the need to be controlled.

Teoría X

Theory X, therefore, defends the principles of Taylorism:

  • People cannot control themselves and need other charges, pressure or punishment to function.
  • The work must be bought: the human being works out of obligation, for which a salary or incentives must be attributed.
  • The worker interposes his personal objectives to those of the organization: they flee from responsibilities and prefer to be directed.
  • People resistant to change.

This theory does not give a realistic view of the human being, according to McGregor.

Theory Y

Theory Y is proposed as an alternative to X:

  • Work is a natural action. There is no rejection and it is intended that the worker enjoy.
  • Self-control is exercised: each employee is responsible for their goals and the effort they make.
  • People's imagination, creativity and ingenuity are valued, as they propose solutions to problems that arise in the company.
  • A small percentage of human intellectual potential is used.

In contrast to theory X, this way of looking at work is ideal for organizations. The organization You must be aware of this and take the appropriate measures so that the aspects described above can develop without problems.

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