Theory X and Theory Y: Management and Leadership Styles

Topic: Leadership
Words: 299 Pages: 1

Douglas McGregor’s psychosocial theories answer questions about what motivates workers in the professional field. McGregor, trying to find the boundaries between effective management and employee motivation, at one time developed two conflicting theories, namely Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X refers to an authoritarian management style in which leadership is built on the idea that employees are not mainly motivated to work and therefore must be forced (Glover, 2020). A collaborative style of managing employees that focuses on working with engaged, motivated employees forms the principle of Theory Y. Thus, there is a difference between Theory X and Theory Y in what kind of people the manager works with and what leadership styles are used to do so. The main kernel in choosing a particular theory is that adapting a leadership style increases employee productivity.

In my professional career experience, I have encountered different types of bosses, but usually, they were autocratic leaders. The burden of the responsibilities imposed on them, the low growth rate of the company, and the lack of a solid corporate culture made my supervisors disinterested in the company. In addition, the industry where I worked was traditionally associated with high employee turnover — from this, it might seem impractical to implement motivational engagement practices because it would prove to be a waste. Finally, the managers in my old jobs were predominantly mature men and women with conservative views, so it was difficult to change to more modern, employee-centered management principles. They applied theory X because it was easier for them to authoritatively manage employees than to inspire them through engagement and intelligent motivation. I am not pointing out that an authoritarian management style does not bring effectiveness to the company, but I can say that employee engagement, in this case, is much lower.


Glover, P. (2020). Seven steps to eliminating theory x management for organizational success. Forbes. Web.

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