Theory X and Theory Y

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Theory X and Theory Y

two opposed philosophies of MANAGEMENT and ORGANIZATION, so named by the American social psychologist Douglas McGregor (1906 – 64). Theory X assumes that people dislike work and prefer to avoid responsibility. It therefore emphasizes that coercion is necessary to achieve satisfactory performance. By contrast, Theory Y believes that people can enjoy the activity of working and exercising responsibility and that if they are given the opportunity they can become committed to organizational goals. McGregor concluded from this that Theory Y could lead to superior organizational performance. See MANAGEMENT STYLE.