Theory Y Manager: Characteristics, Overview

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  • 0:00 Theory X vs. Theory Y
  • 1:27 Theory Y Characteristics
  • 1:55 Which Is Better?
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ashley D. Manker
There are many types of management styles. In this lesson, we will discuss Theory Y management, as well as its counterpart, Theory X management. We will also discuss one of the most successful approaches to managing people in the workplace.

Theory X vs. Theory Y

What motivates people to get up and go to work every day? Some people get great satisfaction from their work and genuinely enjoy it. Others view working as a burden and simply have jobs to pay the bills. American social psychologist, Douglas McGregor, created two different theories on human motivation and management in the 1960s: Theory X and Theory Y.

Theory X Management

Theory X assumes that employees are unmotivated, lazy, hate working, and must be supervised constantly throughout the day for work to get done. Theory X managers and supervisors are sometimes called micro-managers. Micro-managers believe that they must oversee every single task assigned to the employee, and they believe employees will try to avoid work and must be forced with the threat of punishment in order to do their jobs.

Theory Y Management

Theory Y assumes that employees are happy to work, are creative, and enjoy taking on additional duties. Theory Y managers and supervisors are sometimes called hands-off managers. Hands-off managers usually give their employees more freedom and trust with the hopes that the result will be happier workers who will go the extra mile for the company. Also, hands-off managers will often involve their employees in the decision-making process. For example, a hands-off manager may ask the staff to help interview a new candidate that has just applied for a job.

Theory Y Characteristics

Now that you know the difference between Theory X and Theory Y managers, let's go a little deeper into the characteristics of a Theory Y manager. A Theory Y manager:

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