Theory X and Theory Y


The concept describes two theories of human motivation - Theory X and Theory Y, their shortcomings and the main business applications. The knowledge gained will help managers to better understand the different ways in which individuals relate to, and carry out, work.

Technique Overview

Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y Definition

Theory X and Theory Y are theories of human motivation: the former assumes people dislike work, lack ambition, act irresponsibly and prefer to be led, whereas the latter assumes people are willing to work, like responsibility, and are self-directed and creative (Schermerhorn, 2011: 38).

Theory X and Theory Y Description *

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Business Evidence

Theory X and Theory Y Strengths *

Theory X and Theory Y Weaknesses *

Examples of Theory X and Theory Y *

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Business Application

Theory X and Theory Y Implementation *

Success Factors of Theory X and Theory Y *

Measures of Theory X and Theory Y *

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Professional Tools

Theory X and Theory Y Videos *

Theory X and Theory Y Downloads *

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Further Reading

Theory X and Theory Y Web Resources *

Theory X and Theory Y Print Resources *

Theory X and Theory Y References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Arnold, J., Silvester, J., Patterson, F., Robertson, I., Cooper, C. and Burnes, B. (2005) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace. Pearson Education, Harlow, Essex.
  • Bennis, W. (2006) Forward by Warren Bennis (1985). In J. Cutcher-Gershenfeld (Ed.), The Human Side of Enterprise (Annotated Edition), McGraw-Hill, New York.
  • Bobic, M.P. and Davis, W.E. (2003) A Kind Word for Theory X: Or Why So Many New Fangled Management Techniques Quickly Fail. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 13(3), pp. 239.
  • Gryna, F. (2004) Work Overload: Redesigning Jobs to Minimise Stress and Burnout. American Society for Quality, Quality Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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