2010 marked the 50th anniversary of Douglas McGregor's publication of The Human Side of Enterprise. The purpose of this paper is to revisit McGregor's classic book to establish some of his principles that are still being utilized today, as well as some that have been forgotten or discarded.
This paper utilizes specific quotes to establish McGregor's “lessons”. They are placed in historical context, and evaluated, through a selected literature review.
Among the lessons learned is the fact that management can be systematically studied, successful management involves creating a particular type of environment, and employee diversity is a major asset for organizations. Included among the lessons lost are: management requires us to develop cause and effect models, management should focus upon the employees reaching self‐actualization, authority is a weak management tool, and management is the source of employee problems.
It behooves any scientific field to revisit its founding principles, particularly to review what essential lessons might have been misplaced over time.
McGregor's general “Theory X Theory Y” are well known, but seldom are the principles he laid out in creating the model explored, nor are they compared to modern management practices.
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