Motivational Theory of Organization Behavior


A small summary of the assignment question:

Each of the theories of human motivation that are listed in the word document is grounded (explicitly or implicitly) in some set of assumptions about human behavior. Pick one motivational theory that you find “suspect”, and write a 5 page (not including references or exhibits) paper explaining your counter-argument. You can use a story from your personal experience, something you’ve read, or theory and logic to construct your argument. Remember to cite all references.



One of the motivational theory is theory X and theory Y which was given by Douglas McGregor in his famous book ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’ which he wrote in 1960. McGregor was an American social psychologist. The theory X and theory Y demonstrates the two distinct models of the workforce motivation which are being applied by the managers in the management of the human resource, organizational behavior, development, and communication. Theory X focuses on the significance of supervision, penalties, external rewards, etc. Whereas, theory Y focuses on the job satisfaction and embolden workers in order to complete the task without any supervision. The theory X and theory Y remained as a basic principle through which positive style of management and techniques are being developed. The XY theory of McGregor remained central to the development of an organization and the improvement of a culture of an organization (Lawter et al., 2015). The theory X and theory Y are a simple and favorable reminder of the rules in order to manage people who are forgotten because of the pressure of day-to-day activities of the business. The ideas of McGregor are eloquently related to the modern understanding of the contract of psychology that offers various ways to accelerate the nature of theory X leadership and the constructive nature of theory Y leadership. The style of management of theory X assumes that the employee has no or little ambition and they believe in achieving individual goals. This theory states that the managers are more intelligent than the employees and are less lazy as compared to the employees because of such issues employees require supervision in order to work efficiently and effectively. Whereas, the style of management of theory Y states that the employees are self -motivated and doesn’t require any supervision. The employees are considered as the assets of the company. The theory states that the employees are capable enough to take the responsibility of the tasks which are to be performed. McGregor stated that theory X is applied to the employees who are disinclined to work and required to be passionate about work. The theory states that the style of authoritarian should be adapted in order to keep the employees on track. McGregor stated that theory Y is applied to the employees who have a great level of autonomy in the workplace. The employees focus more on achieving long-term strategic goals of the company, and they are mainly motivated by intrinsic rewards. The employees are more committed to their work (Gürbüz et al., 2014).

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Being an individual, I disagree with the theory X and theory Y of motivational theory because this theory makes the employment difficult and harder because the theory X states that supervision is required for the employees as they are lethargic and are not efficient. And theory Y states that the employees are self-motivated and don’t require any supervision by the managers. It is likely that the organization would reject an applicant as he is not coherent with the theory of X and Y which the organization uses. Furthermore, if the organizations will closely follow the theory X and theory Y, then it will be very difficult for the candidates to get the jobs according to their capability and potential because the organization will not be able to manage the various attributes of the candidate at the workplace. The candidates will get a bad impression of the company that they heavily discriminate among the candidates. In my opinion, using theory X and theory Y of motivation theory will make the employment very difficult, and the company might lose talented candidates because of the theory X and theory Y. 
The other reason for which I disagree with the theory X and theory Y of the motivational theory is that it works on the assumptions. As theory X states that the managers assume that they are more intelligent and passionate as compared to the employees. The managers also assume that the employees are lethargic in nature and works for own benefit rather than the organization’s benefit. Whereas, the theory Y states that the managers believe that employees are the valuable assets of the company and are enthusiastic and encouraged which doesn’t require any supervision and is responsible enough to do their jobs efficiently and effectively. In my opinion, the companies should be careful enough while using the theory X and theory Y as there is no end of the assumptions. Nowadays, the workplace is becoming more dynamic as employees come from various different cultures, religions, races, etc. So, it is possible that the employees have completely different goals and motivations for themselves and for the organization as well while working in an organization. As the time is changing and the organizations are being filled by the generation Y employees who are technology savvy who doesn't require any supervision r rigid working environment as they are smart enough to work productively and flexibly. Therefore, theory X and theory Y is obsolete for the various organizations to use.
The researcher put a lot of time and effort in crafting the theory of motivation i.e. theory X and theory Y. But there were various constraints that the researcher used in order to propose the motivational theory i.e. theory X and theory Y. McGregor's theory was not based on truth or any fact. The managers of theory X and theory Y only observed the perceptions of the people. The researcher believed that the employees feel more democratic when they were not supervised, so he categorized those employees under the theory Y, and the employees who were not given any authority and were accustomed to control and coercion were categorized under the theory X of motivational theory (?Sahin, F. 2012). The researcher didn’t conduct any type of research he just gave the theory based on the assumptions of perceptions of the managers towards the employees. McGregor also said that the employees who are categorized in theory X are motivated by intrinsic rewards and the employees who are categorized in the theory Y are more encouraged by the extrinsic rewards. As a result, the theory was developed on the assumptions only and no data was gathered in order to check the observations (Mohamed et al., 2013).
In my opinion, my arguments are valid because the theory X and theory Y is applicable to the organizations in some extent only. As organizations are becoming more advanced and dynamic, the theory will not be applicable in the long run. The organizations don't provide supervision to the employees based on the perception of the managers rather they conduct training sessions and various activities in order to understand the potential of the employees, and then only they provide supervision to the employees.
Therefore, the motivational theory i.e. theory X and theory Y is not applicable to the companies of advanced technology to a great extent as the managers don't believe in assumptions or perceptions and they don't take any risk as this will impact the profitability and the business value of the organization. The theory X and theory Y is more applicable to small organizations as they don’t have such developed systems and facilities and the motivational theory will help in giving better results in a cost-effective manner.

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  • Gürbüz, S., ?Sahin, F., & Köksal, O. (2014). Revisiting of Theory X and Y: A multilevel analysis of the effects of leaders’ managerial assumptions on followers’ attitudes. Management Decision, 52(10), 1888-1906.

  • Lawter, L., Kopelman, R. E., & Prottas, D. J. (2015). McGregor's Theory X/Y and Job Performance: A Multilevel, Multi-source Analysis. Journal of Managerial Issues, 27(1-4), 84.

  • Mohamed, R. K. M. H., & Nor, C. S. M. (2013). The relationship between McGregor's XY theory management style and fulfillment of psychological contract: A literature review. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 3(5), 715.

  • ?ahin, F. (2012). The mediating effect of leader-member exchange on the relationship between Theory X and Y management styles and affective commitment: A multilevel analysis. Journal of Management & Organization, 18(02), 159-174.

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