EppsNet Archive: Theory X

Interview FAQ: How Do You Motivate People?


In 1960, Douglas MacGregor of the MIT Sloan School of Management developed two theories of workplace motivation, Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X assumptions People have an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it whenever possible. People must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment in order to get them to achieve the organizational objectives. People prefer to be directed, do not want responsibility, and have little or no ambition. People seek security above all else. Theory Y assumptions Work is as natural as rest or play. People will exercise self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organizational objectives. Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement. People usually accept and often seek responsibility. Imagination, ingenuity and creativity are widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population. The intellectual potential of the average person is only partly utilized. I come down strongly in favor… Read more →