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Key MBA Models by Dr. Julian Birkinshaw, Ken Mark

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7

Motivation: Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X and Theory Y represent differing perspectives on human motivation. Theory X says that people are basically lazy – they don’t want to work. To ensure that they do a good job, you have to pay them, and you have to link their pay directly to what they produce. Theory Y says that people like to work – they want to do a good job and develop themselves. Paying them well is less important than providing them with a stimulating working environment.

When to use it

  • To understand what makes people tick and how to manage them better.
  • To design jobs that get the best out of people.
  • To develop an effective compensation or incentive system.

Origins

Douglas McGregor was a social psychologist working at MIT ...

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