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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Theory X and Theory Y

This is yet another discussion that I had with my Doddappa(uncle). The title seems to be a very interesting and something exciting. Even I felt the same when my uncle first mentioned it. But it eventually turned out that it was a very much common and known thing. Then why the hell am I writing about this here?? Well the answer is, I did not know that such a common thing could be documented so well and that it would be on of the most important management theories.

There is a nice Wikipedia article about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_X_and_theory_Y and hence I will not be writing anything about this here.

In short Theory X is the pessimistic view and Y is the optimistic view about the people you are managing. But in reality people at any place are really a mix of this and are generally somewhere in between these two extremes. So the manager needs to shrewed enough to identify and categorize people and manage them accordingly. Because X-type of management will piss-off the Y-type of people and may result in resource loss. The reason is that self motivated and creative people want freedom and do not like to be persistently nagged. On the other hand Y-type of management for X-type of people will result in zero or close to zero output and the manager's neck is on the blade. The reason simply being that lazy people who are at work just for money and exploit all facilities will just do that and refrain from working. So managers and people aspiring to be managers, though this is a very common and old and also a sort of outdated philosophy my guess is that it still is an important one.

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