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Theory Y- The Theory of YES to Success

For many years Theory Y has been seen as the primary success motivational style.  As stated in a previous post, Douglas McGregor set up motivational theory styles according to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

McGregor’s main assumptions under Theory Y are:

  • Work can be as natural as play if the conditions are favorable
  • People will be self-directed and creative in meeting their work and organizational objectives if they are personally committed to them
  • People will be committed to their quality and productivity objectives if rewards are in place that address higher needs such as self-fulfillment
  • The capacity for creativity spreads throughout organizations as a contagion
  • Most people can handle responsibility well
  • Under proper work conditions, people will seek responsibility

Theory Y leaders and work cultures typically enjoy the rewards of financial success.  Ways to move toward a participatory success culture can be accomplished by the following:

  • Move away from command and control
  • Decentralize control
  • Flatten organizations
  • Delegate decision-making and creativity
  • Broaden job responsibilities
  • Participatory management style
  • Meaningful performance management systems
  • Open and honest communication
  • Integrity in all business operations

You can make the choice to “catch employees doing things right.”

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Judy W Bell

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