McGregor was the consummate process consultant, but his behavior was derived not from his philosophy of participation but from his theory of human behavior. He was a Theory Y person who found in an academic setting that the managerial style resulting from this set of assumptions was ideally suited to what an academic environment needed. Douglas McGregor was a theoretician, moral philosopher or behaviorist. This reflection aims to provide an analysis of the interconnections between assumptions, values and behavior and an analysis of how his behavior impacted both his theory and value system.
This paper provides an analysis of the interconnections between assumptions, values and behavior.
Some of the misunderstanding of McGregor's views is based on the failure to see him above all as a theoretician.
McGregor displayed the patience to wait for the right time, to lead by asking the gentle questions, to focus on small changes in process rather than pushing content. For us, it is time to take McGregor's theory seriously and do a great deal more research on managerial assumptions. We have pretty good measures of performance but we must put more effort into studying the assumptions underlying managerial behavior.
Schein, E. (2011), "Douglas McGregor: theoretician, moral philosopher or behaviorist? An analysis of the interconnections between assumptions, values and behavior", Journal of Management History, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 156-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511341111112569Download as .RIS
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