Douglas McGregor proposed the theory X and theory Y, which consider the motivation of a person with two opposite sides. Theory "X" assumes that most people are not interested in the responsibility and that people work either for money or out of fear of some threats. However, creating a theory X, McGregor came to the conclusion that this understanding of human nature is not true, and management, built on this approach does not meet modern needs. Thus, he developed the "Y" theory, the basic tenet of which is that people are not lazy and irresponsible. This theory proves that people can be self-governed and creative at work if properly motivated.
McGregor’s theory "X" is the management style of an authoritarian leader towards the workers. According to the theory "X" people initially do not like working and whenever possible avoid it. Being unambitious, workers try to avoid responsibility preferring to be governed. Above all people long for security at work and in their personal life. To make people work efficiently, a manager uses coercion, control and threat of punishment.
Apart from an authoritarian leader, a democratic leader treats his workers on a different basis. He acts out of the concept as follows: the labour is a natural process and by ensuring favourable conditions for work, a leader will receive positive attitude from the employees who in their turn will seek the responsibility. Under democratic rule, employees are to be attached to organisational goals. In this way, they will use self-management and self-control. If the goal is achieved, a worker gets a kind of award in the form of wider admission to the organisational process or receives a financial incentive. A democratic leader takes into account an intellectual potential of an average worker and tries to use it to a full extent.
It should be emphasised that the theory "X" and theory "Y" are not mutually exclusive opposites. On the contrary, McGregor believes that the majority of people are potentially mature and conscious, thus, there is a difference between attitude and behaviour. Theories "X" and "Y" describe the positions and inclinations of the people. The company management should follow the theory of "Y" and at the same time keep in mind the theory of "X", since at the start some workers are to be treated according to the theory "X". Once they are self-actualized, a leader can switch to the "Y" type of management.
Douglas McGregor proposed the theory X and theory Y, which consider the motivation of a person with two opposite sides. Theory "X" assumes that most people are not interested in the responsibility and that people work either for money or out of fear of some threats.