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Which are you? A Theory X or Theory Y Supervisor?

As defined by Douglas McGregor, a Social Psychologist in the 1960s:


Theory X:  The “Average person” dislikes work and will try to avoid it. Most people must be forced with the threat of punishment to work. He continued this perception of the workforce as populated by people preferring to be directed and avoid responsibility. This view included the perspective that most workers are unambitious and want security above all else.


Theory Y: A contrary view of the “workforce”. In this view, expending effort In work is as natural as play. He went on to suggest that people will apply self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives. And commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement. This view also depicts people usually accepting and often seeking responsibility. McGregor also suggested that the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilized.


McGregor encouraged Employers and Supervisors to adopt his Theory Y view of workers. IKR


Which view do you subscribe to?


Here’s why I ask.


It’s been my observation that Supervisors create “self-fulfilling prophecies” when it comes to their interactions with their staff. What do I mean? I mean that if you subscribe to the Theory X view of “people in the workplace,” they will prove you right. However, if you subscribe to the Theory Y view of the people who work for you the overwhelming majority will prove you right.


It’s up to you. Are you a Theory X Supervisor/Manager or are you a Theory Y?




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