Principle & Practice of Management

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Theory X

Theory X is the traditional theory of human behaviour. According to this theory, workers are inherently lazy, passive and unambitious. Therefore, there is a need for control and direction over workers. People at work are to follow the directives of the management and cannot suggest what they think to be correct.
This theory is based on the following assumptions:
1. The average worker in an organisation basically dislikes work and by nature is indolent and avoids work whenever possible.
2. He is usually self-centered and he cares little for the organisational goals.
3. He is usually lazy and has no ambition.
4. He tries to avoid responsibility and only desires security.
5. The average worker actually prefers to be directed to being left on his own.
6. Because of the human nature of dislike for work, most of the worker must be forced, controlled, directed, threatened punished to get them to put adequate efforts towards the achievement of organisational behaviour.
Thus, management should rely more on discipline, punishment, close supervision, etc.

Theory X

Suitability of Theory X in Modern Times

The theory X is not suitable in modern times. The theory supports the authoritarian view which is quite unwarranted in the present economy. McGregor himself says that this theory does not represent the modern views on management. The assumptions of this theory about the human nature are negative in their approach. Management can get results by following this theory but only in short-run when workers respond to pressures and controls partly out of fear of consequences of not following orders. The recent researchers conclude that the most effective way to get results is to work with people rather than through them. Further, the government of most of the countries have stressed that workers must be given an honourable place in the management; they must be regarded as partners in the organisation.