"Mr Johnson insists he will be moving away the Theory X and the culture of targets, but don’t go jumping up and down too soon because – as he says in his own unique way – 'we have one main very precious target to meet, which is a maximum of 18 weeks between GP referral and treatment.'"What people believe they are or say and what they do can often be two entirely different things. If someone thinks they are a Theory Y manager, but puts strict controls on their employees and micromanages, are they really Theory Y? For that matter, what would make a manager who acts out Theory X believe they are Theory Y? Or maybe the question should be, what would make a Theory Y manager start acting out Theory X? Since I have not been a manager before, I can really only speculate. Perhaps they ran in to some troublesome employee who eroded their trust little by little, and while the manager may still think they believe in Theory Y, their experiences tell them otherwise. Or maybe some managers just don't know themselves very well. Another speculation: I have found that people generally believe that everyone else is fairly similar to themselves... perhaps if a manager becomes dissatisfied with his or her own job, he or she comes to believe that others need more prodding to do their jobs. I think the key to Theory Y is understanding that everyone is different. While some employees may actually need carrots and sticks to do their jobs well (such as those who gravitate towards sales, perhaps), many more are motivated by other things: family, accomplishment, challenge, problem-solving, free time or hobbies. If you start thinking that everyone is pretty much the same, it's hard not to slip a little into a Theory X way of thinking.
Posted by on Sun, 7 Feb 2010