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Monday, October 7, 2013

History of Management - Behavioral Approaches & Management Thinking

What did the behavioral management approaches contribute to management thinking? 

The basic assumption of the behavioral management approaches is that people are social and self-actualizing. These approaches include the Hawthorne studies, Maslow’s theory of human needs, McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, and Argyris’s theory of adult personality. The key contribution of the Hawthorne studies is that people’s feelings, attitudes, and relationships with co-workers influence their performance. Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs suggests that managers who can help people satisfy their important needs at work will achieve productivity. Douglas McGregor, the developer of Theory X and Theory Y, argued that managers should devote more attention to people’s social and self-actualizing needs at work. McGregor asserted that managers must shift their perspective from Theory X  a set of negative assumptions about human behavior  to Theory Y  a set of positive assumptions about human behavior. McGregor believed that managers who hold either set of assumptions can create self-fulfilling prophecies — that is, through their behavior they can create situations where subordinates act to confirm the managers’ original expectations. Theory Y assumptions are central to contemporary ideas about employee participation, involvement, empowerment, and self-management. Argyris argued that organizations were too often structured and operated in ways that were incongruous with the needs and characteristics of the adult personality. He maintained that implementation of classical management ideas such as the bureaucratic organization and Fayol’s administrative principles would create conditions for psychological failure among the workers, create dependent and passive workers, cause workers to have little sense of control over their work environments, and undermine worker performance. To have high individual and organizational performance, Argyris advocated transforming organizations so they would be compatible with the capacities and characteristics of the adult personality.

Source: Management, 11th Edition - John R. Schermerhorn

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