The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of leaders’ Theory X and Y managerial assumptions on subordinates’ attitudes and behaviors.
Military leaders (n=50) completed a questionnaire with Theory X and Y scale and their subordinates (n=150) completed a questionnaire with the scales of satisfaction with leader, affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. The paper used hierarchical linear modeling to test the hypotheses.
The results indicated that the Theory Y management style is significantly and positively associated with subordinates’ satisfaction with the leader, affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors. The Theory X management style had a significantly negative impact on subordinates’ satisfaction with the leader, but no significant impact on affective commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. The findings of the present study suggest that the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions are a worthwhile basis from which to examine several important organizational and individual outcomes.
The sample consisted of military personnel and were predominantly male. This may limit the generalizability of the findings.
The findings of the present study suggest that the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions are a worthwhile basis from which to examine several important organizational and individual outcomes.
Although McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y have contributed to management and leadership thinking and practice for many years; empirical studies examining the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions in a work environment are very scarce. By examining the effect of leader's Theory X and Y managerial assumptions on follower's attitudes and behaviors, the study provides important insights for leadership literature.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ministry of National Defense or the Turkish Armed Forces. An earlier version of the research was presented at the 54th International Military Testing Association Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, November 5-9, 2012.
Gürbüz, S., Şahin, F. and Köksal, O. (2014), "Revisiting of Theory X and Y: A multilevel analysis of the effects of leaders’ managerial assumptions on followers’ attitudes", Management Decision, Vol. 52 No. 10, pp. 1888-1906. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-06-2013-0357
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