Critically Evaluate Mcgregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. How Far Is It Applicable to Management and Employee Motivation in Contemporary Chinese Organizations?

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Human behavior Pages: 3 (1090 words) Published: May 11, 2013
Despite the significant economic growth in China after the economic reforms in 1979, productivity of China has been in difficulty (Jackson, 1998). This problem is considered to be primarily associated with employee motivation (Geren, 2011). Therefore, applying appropriate motivation theories is attaching much attention in China than before. As a prime example of Western motivation theories, McGregor states that every management method is based on an assumption of human nature and behavior at work in theory X and Y (McGregor, 2000). Whereas theory X emphasizes on strategies of control, theory Y focus motivators more on individual goals. In spite of numerous criticisms that query the certainty of the assumptions about human nature and managers’ personalities in McGregor’s theory, it is proved that this theory has been successfully applied to current management in simple work and innovative jobs respectively. However, this essay will argue that compared to theory X, theory Y seems to be less applicable in contemporary Chinese context on employee motivation due to their work values influenced by Chinese culture and personalities, such as and uncertainty avoidance and managers’ selfishness. On the one hand, McGregor’s theory X and Y has been subjected to at least two criticisms which argue that the assumptions of his theory are incomplete and even erroneous. One of them claims that the aspects of human nature hypothesized by McGregor that people inherently dislike work or like work in theory X and theory Y respectively, is wrong. According to Russ (2011), the development of people’s desirability and motivation is completely not affected by human nature. Instead, people’s own sociological experience takes effect. The other argument questions whether all the managers and executives have ability and patience to analyze and motivate employees (Burke, 2011). Numerous factors take responsibility, including feeling of superiority and lacking knowledge on subordinates’...
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