Blog | 07.04.2012

Applying McGregor’s Theories to Employee Productivity Today

Every employee in an organisation has his/her own work psychology, they have their own style of working, and there are different set of factors, which influence them and their productivity. As a manager one has to deal with each of them in a different manner and bring the best out of them.

Douglas McGregor was a famous professor at MIT, who significantly contributed towards various aspects of management, one of which is his theory X and theory Y.
Theory X is for the employees, who are lazy, don’t want to work, but are talented.

Theory Y is for the employees, which want to work for self-fulfillment; given the right guidance they will perform well.

In the first scenario, Theory X, it is very important for a manager to create a structured environment, so as to get the work done from the employees. There may be lack of trust in this situation therefore the manager would keep a close track on the employee’s activity.

However, in the second scenario, Theory Y, a manager just needs to show the right direction to the employee and they will automatically perform well. This actually boosts the level of trust between the manager and his team.

McGregor proposed that a manager’s outlook impacts the productivity and performance of an employee. Their intervention will shape the employee’s working style.

Adding to his approach we propose one more influencer. Most of the times what other people perceive about us influence us more but our performance also depends upon how we as individuals view ourselves. Therefore apart from what people perceive out of us, we must keep on doing periodic self-introspection to assess that “Are we responsible for other’s perceptions of ourselves?

Our product, Sapience provides input for both these aspects, which influence productivity at workplace.

The Managers gets access to individual work visibility in form of objective work facts and employees get a mirror image of their daily activities. The Managers act upon the data they receive and can intervene wherever it is required for Y type of employees. Similarly X type of employees can analyze their daily work and set goals for self-improvement.

Thus Sapience enables a Win-Win situation for everyone. If interested, please contact us at