Essay, 9 pages (2000 words)

Example of theory x essay


Theories are essential ingredients that form the basis of operations in an organization. For, practitioners in consultancy, they have a greater need of being knowledgeable about theories and models since they will meet clients with different needs and have to serve their needs. This paper will focus on two theories that can be applied in consultancy in the formulation of policies and management of companies. The first one will be Theory X perception that managers have about employees exploring its pros and cons. The second one, Theory X is the opposite of Theory Y. The paper present detailed discussion on both theories in an effort to find out which is the most effective as compared to the other. The purpose of the paper will be to come out with the most favorable theory that can benefit most companies if put to use.


What make people stand up and say, “ I love my job?” what drives an employee to wake up early every morning to walk into that one office all year round? That is a great question that strives to unravel what factors can make employees find satisfaction at work. On the other side, it asks ponders over the reasons why other employees both tolerate at their places of work and will possibly quit their job if chance avails itself. It all goes to the model of leadership that guides the operations of the group. Consultancy firms face the task of prescribing to clients the appropriate models, principles and theories that can help in motivating employees toward high performance (Gomez 2009). They have in some instances recommended paradigm shifts to organizations. However, the key theories that have bee used in consultancy are the twine.
Theory X and theory Y that were expounded by McGregor; the theories are about the management and motivation of employees determined by whether the organization views the employees positively or negatively. These perceptions, positive or negative, and the way the manager expresses it is a key in influencing the behavior of the employees. Managers, therefore, have to be aware of their perceptions about employees in order to choose the best approach or design in order to manage people appropriately.

Theory X is a pessimist in its understanding of employee motivation. It has the assumption that employees less motivated, do not like working and are lazy (McGregor 1987). Employees are complacent and like an easy way of working since they feel the organization is not their own. Apart from the salary they get, they have no other interests in the business or firm. The theory says that this lack of interests of the employees in the company puts them under no obligation to work hard and demonstrate commitment. Farther, they lack ambition and aspiration for high achievement. The nature of the employees necessitates an authoritarian leadership and management. Since employees are complacent and cannot be relied on to be self-driven, interventions by the management have to come in to force them to comply (McGregor 1987). The top management in X-type organizations does not expect employees to do a thing on their own; they come in to get things done. The business is to-heavy and has to place supervision and invigilation at every point of work. Workers are viewed as empty vessels which need the sense to achieve (McGregor 1987). They have to be controlled entirely by the supervisors. In X-type businesses, there is no delegation of duties since employees cannot be depended given the perception of management. Macgregor notes that every group has X-type workers upon whom many controls and force has to be applied if they have to work.

Theory Y

This is a more relaxed style of leadership that does not apply force. Its assumption of employees is that they are creative, find joy in working and have self motivation. The employees are responsible and are by nature capable of taking initiative. They have high ambitions, which drive them, to achieve the goals and act under minimum supervision if any (McGregor 1987). They do not rely on supervisors to work, to them work is part of life and accepts it with delight.
The managers have an optimistic perception of the employees that make them interact with them positively building a good relationship with them. Y-type organizations, therefore, do not use compulsive strategies and negative motivation to employees so that they can follow instructions. The environment in such organization allows employees to demonstrate their imaginativeness and creativity rather than just having to follow directives from seniors. It is common in such companies to find a decentralization of responsibilities since managers have the trust to delegate responsibilities to employees. Management is employee inclusive and junior members of the group are welcome to express their views for in decision making.
The consultancy firms usually have to present these descriptions of the theories to clients so they can reflect on their own situation (McGregor 1987. Considering the positive and negative sides of a theory when is essential for informed decision making on the most appropriate one. That is why Theory X has to be compared and contrasted to theory Y, to see which one has the best qualities. Comparison of Theory X against Theory Y.
Theory X has a negative image; hence, no manager or company would like to be associated with it even though they may be practicing it. Many theorists of management have no interest in promoting it. The way its assumptions are designed is scary. The assumption that all workers are lazy, selfish in their interest and have to be instructed on what they should do. This is one point that makes the theory need favor. For Theory Y, it differs from Theory X hen it assumes workers to be active in their conditions of work. They contribute to the betterment of themselves and the environment around them. This assumption has a strong appeal and can impact employees in a great way. He mere believe that workers are active and exist for the betterment of the environment when influence them to raise the level of that believes. Macgregor gave Theory Y a special appeal when he said that the best way to manage Y Type is to manage them less. That only need to provide them with a good environment, and in it they will grow.
The application of theory X is also a key factor in the development of conflict between employers and employees. To assume that employees are self-centered and have no interest in the development of the organization they do not own creates a stat of mistrust between the workers and employees. The manager does not trust the business in the hands of the workers and is always striving to be in control. With the insecurity of this level, the manager develops strategies that curtail workers (McGregor 1987). The workers fight back against the repressive policies thereby sparking conflicts in an organization. In contrast, Theory Y will help in cultivating an environment of harmony in an organization. The assumptions present a scenario where the workers and heir manager come together working as partners to pursue both self-fulfillment and achievement of the goals of the organization. There is criticism of McGregor’s assumption for making it appear easy to develop a harmonious group. It only requires the manager to change his perceptions about the workers and it is all done. It is true that it calls for more than just a shift in the perceptions. However, actions come from the thoughts and build through the perceptions. With a positive view of the workers, the manager develops strategies that go to empower the worker in his efforts to achieve the goals of the business.
These theories also differ in the kinds of incentives that are in their assumptions. For Theory X, motivation of the employees is extrinsic. The manager assumes that the workers are for money and have no inner drive for work. In this way, supervision is close, and use of negative motivation is common. The manager believes that any failures come from the employee due to their laziness and irresponsibility. The mistakes punished and workers threatened every other time in order to keep them working. If an employee misses from work, instead of asking the reason, the manager interprets that as defiance penalized by slicing the salary. Theory Y has a better approach to motivation due to its assumptions. Since it assumes that workers have high ambitions, they have intrinsic motivation. They work to satisfy themselves even before the employer. The employees enjoy working and achieving and strive to demonstrate their innovativeness and creativity that can enhance productivity. The manager’s role is just but that of lending them a hand of help in they are efforts to achieve.
Psychologists such as Maslow have pointed out that a key determinant of performance for an organization is motivation. They point to intrinsic motivation as lasting longer than extrinsic motivation. This is a vital point to consider the view of which of this theory should be embraced. Theory X does not encourage the development of the workers by having to impose many restrictions on them. Workers are made objects that will always be waiting for prompts in order to act. They are complacent and in the absence of supervision or force, avoid attending to their responsibilities. Farther, it encourages dictatorship and authoritarian style of management that fuel resistance from employees (McGregor 1987). One admits to the fact that some employees require to be supervised especially if they are lazy, but employers should not view employees as selfish and who have no good intentions for the business. Such a perception is likely to make the employees be policed all the time which might end up costly in the long-run.
For Theory Y, it provides room for self-expression of the employees. The motivation of the employees is boosted by a free environment that has minimal limitations and controls. It is perceived that employees are capable of goodness and any behavior that is contrary to this understanding comes as a surprise. Promoters of this theory find it positive in encouraging work ethics through the expectations of the manager. There is objectivity in problem solving as the manager does not always blame failures on employees. Furthermore, there is cooperation between the management and the employees which facilitates teamwork. This enhances good communication, a necessary thing for the realization of the goals of the business. It can be admitted that the performance can be poor if the employees are independent. Critics of Theory y find it as favoring laissez-faire which makes employees get out of control, by lacking restrictions. They say that the workers that the theory describes doing not exist as most workers rely on extrinsic motivation to work, this is a good relationship with their employees. The Y group is such that the managers are part of the production process and not spectators. Unlike in Theory X where managers have pre-occupied themselves with observing workers to see their mistakes and failures so that they can punish or penalize them, Theory Y managers focus on supporting the employees in the process of their work. They organize in-service training for employees so that they can improve in the knowledge of their duties and improving their efficiency. They do not survey for mistakes in the employees or engage in a witch hunt for any bad elements in the group. This makes the Theory have a wide acceptability by most managers since in practice, it promises better achievement than Theory X.


In a consultancy, motivational issues are a key in the advice that is given to clients. Theory X represents an arrogant management team that is characterized by the issuance of deadlines and ultimatums. Managers keep a distance from the employees and do not care for the welfare of the employees. They always suspect the employees as being up to no good in the business and hence have to act defensively. They also do not care about the feedback from clients if what they have achieved their objectives. They also over-estimate their abilities while underestimating that of employees. They also have much self-will that makes them inconsiderate of others and arrogant. However, it is the prerogative of managers to exercise power over the employees especially if other options have failed.
The current trends in organizations are embracing democratic ways of dealing with issues. Consultancy firms should move towards models that fit in the democratic scheme (Gomez 2009). In the wake of this, rights of individuals are greatly emphasized and hence models that do not allow democratic space. Additionally, employers have to keep track of their perceptions about their employers and should allow themselves to be guided by models that ensure high performance while not compromising the potential of the employees. In a consultancy, theories that align with the ideas that are postulated by McGregor in Theory Y should be emphasized. The need an environment that is ideal for both managers and employees to achieve their potential; as is the case with Theory y, it is vital if organizations are to achieve high levels of performance by employees. However, if need be theories can be used together as long as doing this does not compromise the level of integrity and respect between employers and employees. Theories also have to be applied in respect to the context as they are never universal in their applicability. A theory working at one place may not apply in the same way to a different area.


McGregor, D. (1987). The human side of an enterprise. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Gomez, P.-Y., & Moore, R. (2009). Board members and management consultants: Redefining the boundaries of consulting and corporate governance. Charlotte, N. C: Information Age Pub.

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