On Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y”. - IISIA 株式会社原田武夫国際戦略情報研究所 - haradatakeo.com
  1. HOME
  2. ブログ
  3. On Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y”.

On Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y”.

As CEO of my own think tank, I sometimes think of Douglas McGregor’s famous motivational theory. As long as you remain an employee, that is to say, “workforce which is hired by somebody else,” such a theory never occurs to you. However, once you begin to run your own company with your own money and hire someone else as your followership in office, you can’t help remember the theory.

Well, what’s Douglas McGregor’s motivational theory? Generally speaking, it’s regarding two fundamental and analytical principles, with which you can judge psychology of employees. Based on that, “Theory X” tells you every employee doesn’t want to work. He/she tries hard to get the same salary as it is by evading additional tasks. For them, it’s optimal to get paid without working in workplace. From the beginning, they always remain idle and can’t be never motivated.

“Theory Y” tells you another, totally different story: Employees are always motivated and want to make added values in workplace. Once you, as CEO, gives them tasks, they will accomplish much more than you expect. For them, “Work is life”, and as self-motivated workforce, they automatically find out what to do in office. You never get headaches with idleness of your employees.

In the age of digital economy, this “Theory Y” is flourishing and developing. For its promotors, the internet is the key to solve all the problems in office. Because the workforce is, according to “Theory Y”, self-motivated and full of energy for working, only what to do for you as CEO is to empower them and accept whatever they do. In addition to that, any hierarchical structures in office must be abolished, because they only hinder “good workers” from doing the right things. You, CEO of your own company, just have to declare yourself as servant of empowered employees.

Again, as long as you remain mere employee in workplace, you never understand why I’m so enthusiastically writing these sentences on D. McGregor’s motivational theory. Once you’ll be promoted to run your own company or build up it as entrepreneur, you’ll immediately grasp what I’m feeling and want to tell you. The reality in office never, never, never reflects the latter. The former is always the case. Don’t stick to such an optimistic illusion as “Theory Y”.

Now, you may wonder why this kind of “Theory Y” and its relatives are so widespread. They always proclaim not poor employees but company executive must be blamed, whenever something gets wrong in workplace. Beyond pseudo-logical authenticity of the theory, how come it makes us fall into a trap?

The answer is quite simple: Because the number of employees is much more bigger than of company leadership, all the clever publisher aim only at employees as readership. All the books on company executives can be well sold, when they are capable of appeasing frustrated and angry employees. It’s not reality but pseudo-democracy for workforce that matters.

If you’re about to build up your own company right now, don’t read any books on company leadership. Instead of that, cleave to your own destiny and motivation for start-up. Don’t listen to your followership’s voices which just bother you as CEO. Always get back to the reason why you set up your own company, whenever you’ll get troubled. It’s only YOU that can find loopholes to get rid of difficulties. Nobody else is placed in such a precious position. Go ahead.