Management Theory of Douglas McGregor

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Douglas McGregor's theory of management, often referred to as McGregor's XY theory, remains a cutting-edge management model ...

Douglas McGregor's theory of management, often referred to as McGregor's XY theory, remains a cutting-edge management model though more than 50 years old. The Douglas McGregor biography describes one of the most influential management theorists as a man whose revolutionary insights into the nature of leadership and management changed the relationship between managers and employees, paving the way for best practices implemented by some of today's most successful companies.

Rooted in the early industrial era, Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y contrasted two visions of the worker. Theory X, the accepted model at the time, assumed that workers were drones, without ambition or initiative who had to be punished and bullied by bosses to achieve results. Drawing on newly emerging psychological principles, Douglas McGregor's Theory Y offered a different model. Some key Theory Y principles are the following:

1. Work is as natural as play or rest.

2. Workers who are engaged and fulfilled actually enjoy their work.

3. Under the right conditions workers actively seek responsibility, take initiative and make creative decisions.

4. Self-fulfillment is the real reward workers seek.

Related Content: Popular Management Theories Decoded [INFOGRAPHIC]

Assess your company's need for McGregor management theory

McGregor's theory of management can revolutionize the relationship between leadership and employees in your company. Numerous online tests are available which can help you see exactly where your organization stacks up against McGregor management theory.

Get training in human resource management to understand McGregor's theory

Many websites provide valuable information about McGregor theory. You'll find various training courses and instructional materials that can help you develop the background knowledge and practical expertise to put Douglas McGregor motivation theory to work for your company.

Connect with a consultant who can help you implement Douglas McGregor theory

Consultants with knowledge and experience in the Douglas McGregor motivational theory can guide you in maximizing the benefit of his principles in your own company's unique environment.

Put McGregor's theory of management to work for your company

Leadership and management training based on Douglas McGregor X Y theory can help you engage your employees' creativity and initiative in support of shared goals.

  • Most management theorists today agree that Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y somewhat exaggerate the contrasts in management's view of workers, but the real value of McGregor's theories lies in the way they reveal just how much leadership depends on perception and expectation.

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