Difference Between Theory X and Theory Y (With Table)

There is a relationship between leadership and motivation. In a workplace, every other person has different behavior. Everybody has their way in which they motivate themselves and work towards the goal. The manager has to observe everything and then make a move. There are various approaches to manage people based on traits. Two theories for this are- Theory X and Theory Y. 

Theory X vs Theory Y

The difference between theory x and theory y is that they both have different approaches. Theory x has a conventional approach to motivation. It is there on bleak assumptions. On the other hand, theory y is a dynamic and modern approach. It relies on assumptions that are practical and focuses on social needs. 

Theory X states that the manager should harshly treat the employees to achieve the goals of the organization. It says that it is the best way to persuade them so that they work effectively. High-level supervision is there, and it is an autocratic form of management. This theory says that employees lack self-motivation. 

Theory Y states that the manager should treat employees in a friendly way. It emphasizes harmonious cooperation among employees. This theory mainly focuses on the goals of both the organization and its employees. It says that both their goals should not contradict each other. It is a democratic form of management and says that employees have enough self-motivation. 

Comparison Table Between Theory X and Theory Y

Parameters Of ComparisonTheory XTheory Y
DefinitionThis theory says that an employee lack dislikes his work, and he needs harsh treatment. This theory says that an individual is happy with his work and he will do the work effectively.
Leadership Autocratic style.Democratic style.
Motivation Lacks self-motivation.Has enough self-motivation.
ControlCentralization of authority.Decentralization of authority.
FocusIt focuses on security and psychological needs. It focuses on self-actualization and esteem needs.

What is Theory X?

In this theory, the management is extremely harsh. The authorities take a pessimistic view of their employees and consider them as people who lack self-motivation. There is a constant cycle of giving a punishment every time someone makes a mistake. Also, they grant rewards to those who excel in their work. 

The style of management is authoritarian in this theory. The organizations who opt theory x have repetitive work, and remuneration is given based on performance. They check the product output or the sales figure and then pay the person. Such organizations also have different tiers of managers to direct and manage the workers. They highly intervene in all the work and get it done in their way. 

There are certain assumptions to this theory- 

  1. An individual will avoid work to a possible extent and is indolent. 
  2. The person dislikes the work and will surely do it in the wrong way.
  3. They will avoid responsibilities and try to break the decorum of the organization. 
  4. The managers need to force and control the employees to get the work done. 
  5. They lack self-motivation and will not work effectively. 
  6. They need supervision at every step of their work. 

According to these assumptions, the management is responsible for acquiring resources to gain in the economy

What is Theory Y?

In this theory, the management is friendly and lets the employees participate in making decisions for the organization. The authorities take an optimistic view of their employees and consider them people who can motivate themselves in their way. It says that the employees enjoy their work and can complete it without any intervention from the management. 

This theory states that employees are the crucial assets of an organization, and they must receive good treatment. The style of management is democratic in this theory. The goals of both the organization and the people working in it should not contradict. They focus on a collaborative environment and a relationship based on trust. Supervisors encourage the workers to build skills and develop themselves. 

There are certain assumptions to this theory- 

  1. The person is happy with his work and the initiative he is getting. 
  2. There is the involvement of the employees in making decisions for the company. 
  3. They can motivate themselves in their way and work effectively. 
  4. An individual does not escape his responsibilities, but he seeks them. 
  5. They enjoy taking authority in their position and ownership of their work. 
  6. They need less direction and can work on their own. 

According to these assumptions, the management alone is not responsible for acquiring resources to grow in the economy. The employees are equally liable. 

Main Differences Between Theory X and Theory Y 

  1. Theory X says that an average employee only works for himself, to satisfy his needs and not the organization. On the other hand, theory y says that a worker works towards the fulfillment of organizational goals. 
  2. Theory X states that an employee has no ambitions and they dislike their work. But theory y says that the employee has goals and they are happy with their work. 
  3. The leadership style that theory x follows is autocratic. On the other hand, theory y follows a democratic leadership style. 
  4. Self-motivation is not there in theory x, while it is present in theory y. 
  5. There is centralization of authority in the company in theory x. On the other hand, there is a decentralization of command in the company in theory y. 

Conclusion 

Sometimes when you hire employees and adopt theory x, the employees may not like it if you harshly treat them. They may have self-motivation and are willing to work, but you treat them like slackers who will ruin everything. They may also want to quit the job. 

On the other hand, if you adopt theory y, you will assume that the workers are happy with their work and can motivate themselves. On the contrary, you do not receive any job on time, and you have to intervene all the time. It is because the workers are not so ambitious and they do not like the work. 

It is when theory x and theory y both fail. No organization wants this situation to happen. To avoid this scenario, you need to hire people according to the work of your company. It is not easy as it looks, but you can always try. 

References

  1. https://journals.aps.org/pr/abstract/10.1103/PhysRev.139.A357
  2. https://redined.educacion.gob.es/xmlui/handle/11162/64896
x
2D vs 3D