The Difference between McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y–Explained!

December 27, 2018 admin 0 Comment

(]) Workers are indolent and work as little as possible.

(2) Workers lack ambition, dislike responsibility and prefer to be led

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(3) Workers are indifferent to the needs of the organization and think only of themselves.

(4) Workers are not very intelligent, are gullible and are easily led by the demagogue.

(5) Workers are resistant to change.

When the needs of a student, teacher or administrator are essentially social, esteem or concerning self-actualization, the threats, coercion pressures, punishments and sanctions associated with Theory X do not act as motivators of behaviour.

McGregor’s alternative to Theory X is known as Theory Y. The latter exhibits a positive orientation towards a worker’s interests and capabilities.

Theory Y assumes that:

(1) Natural condition of humans is not to be passive or resistant to organizational needs. They behave so as a result of experience in organizations.

(2) Capacity for assuming responsibility, ability to direct behaviour towards the completion of organizational goals aid the potential for personal growth and development are present :n all people.

(3) Management is responsible for designing work environment to permit an individual to exploit his or her full range of motivations and hence can be of greater use to the organization as well as to him/her.

Theory Y focuses on fulfilling those needs of a subordinate that are positioned near the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. If these conditions can be sustained, then the essence of organizational control shifts from exterior pressures and manipulations (management to worker, principal to teacher, teacher to students) to an interior sense (within the subordinate) of self-direction and self-control. This difference is the difference between treating people as children and treating them as mature adults.

There are at least three popular teaching – learning strategies having their ideological and conceptual roots in Theory Y and the hierarchy of needs:

(a) Learning contracts;

(b) Behavioural objectives; and

(c) Individualized instruction.

These are described as follows:

(a) Learning Contracts:

In entering into a learning contract with a teacher, the student gives definition to what he/she wants to learn, the methodology of learning (e.g., library, workbooks, visual aids) and how the student wants his/her learning to be evaluated (e.g., oral evaluation, written examination, semester system, etc).

Thus, the student casts the learning experience at his/her own level of hierarchical need and focuses it on specific areas of interest.

The student exercises considerable control over his/her own work task, rate, level and environment. Theory X tactics of control are not necessary. The role of the teacher is to facilitate the learning process as much as possible, but not to assume control over it.

(b) Behavioural Objectives:

Use of behavioural objectives in the learning process tends to rest more in the hands of teachers thin with the students, although students can participate in setting the objectives.

A behavioural objective focuses on the percentage of students in the class who are going to learn a specific subject or acquire a skill within a defined time period as evaluated by a specific measuring instrument. If used properly, this concept lends itself well to the Theory Y hierarchy of needs strategy.

(c) Individualized Instruction:

It includes many character sties found in the learning contract. A student is intended to pursue knowledge at a rate determined by his or her own capabilities rather than by an artificially imposed rate such as a class average.

The task of a teacher is to design the learning process so that the learner is ready; the work leads him/ her into the higher levels of the needs hierarchy.

The rate and level of learning are determined by a sequence of competencies which the student must master before moving on to the next stage of the academic process. The procedures of control and discipline transfer from the teacher to internal sources of student self-discipline.


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