Friday, October 30, 2009

A useful model-Mc Gregor's theory x and theory y

Mc Gregor is well known to HR types but not so much so to general managers and this is a shame cos it offers a simple and clever insight into two broad managerial styles.
Mc Gregor showed the effects of reactionary and controlling management practices in his two models: theory x and theory y.
Theory x assumes that as an employee you are resentful of having to be at work and will try to get away with as much as you can without getting caught. Therefore you need to be watched and monitored in order to get you to do what you're supposed to do and need to be reminded of the right way to do stuff.
This belief becomes self- fulfilling, because workers treated with such disdain will of course respond by becoming demovitated, show ittle interest in the organisation and will be unhappy at work.
Theory y assumes the opposite, that work is intriniscally satisfying and important to you and that if you are doing well at work it becomes a source of fulfilment and spurs you on to commit further to the organisational goals, with minimal supervision.
Of course you are going to do better and be more productive if you can manage your own day, control your own timetable and so on, because you become more responsible and better able than any one else to do your job. Management become your consultants, where you are comfortable asking for advice and help when you need it.

How do these two models impact on your own work situation?
Your boss is probably a mix of x and y. Like any work scenario, the onus is on you to get more out of your work by taking responsibility to explain to your boss how to best manage you.
This kind of action will probably seem audacious to some of you, but it's the only way I have observed how people can improve working relationships with their bosses. It's not going to happen in one conversation. taking the time to update your boss without being asked and seeking help before you mess up will demonstrate you are serious about taking on more responsibility. Mangers are people who tend to treat you the way you expect to be treated. Achieving results and greater communication with management isn't just about pleasing your boss to save your job, it's about improving your confidence and contributing to your greater well being.

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