CJ 503: Organizational Behavior
Theory X vs. Theory Y
In the 1960’s book “The Human Side of Enterprise,” MIT professor Douglas McGregor proposed two views in order to explain what motivates an individual to work and influences the manager in the management of such employee. Known as “Theory X and Theory Y,” McGregor asserts that Theory X employees are “naturally unmotivated and dislike working, and this encourages an authoritarian style of management,” whereas Theory Y employees “are happy to work, are self-motivated and creative, and enjoy working with greater responsibility.” Under theory Y management style are much more decentralized with employees have input in the companies decisions (McGregor, 1960).
Further explained Theory X highlights the following characteristics. (1) Employees dislike working. (2) They regularly avoid responsibility there is almost always a need for these to be directed. (3) These employees have to be controlled, forced, and threatened to deliver what's needed. (4) There is a Need for these employees to be supervised at every step, with controls put in place to ensure that their tasks are completed. (5) These employees need to be enticed to produce results; otherwise they have no ambition or incentive to work (Mindtools.com). Management of employees that fit this description is difficult to manage and getting them to work is like pulling teeth. As a result managers adopt an authoritarian style in which they are forced to keep a closer eye on the worker. The focus on this style of management is production however according to Mohamed and Mohamed Nor, this style of management is negative and will encourage worker to seek other ways to neglect work (Mohamed & Mohamed Nor, 2103). “Theory X is the style that predominated in business after the mechanistic system of scientific management had swept everything before it in the first few decades of the 20th century (Theeconomist.com, 2008)
Theory Y further explained highlights the following characteristics: (1) Employees Take responsibility and are motivated to fulfill the goals they are given. (2) Seek and accept responsibility and do not need much direction. (3) Consider work as a natural part of life and solve work problems imaginatively (Mindtools.com). Employees that have these characteristics are much more productive and independent. Theory Y boasts the views that employees will do anything that benefits the company without having being told to do so (Mohamed & Mohamed Nor, 2103). Because of the decentralization the decision making process, employee contributions are much more prevalent and encourages however management holds to right to implement any changes and decisions (Mindtools.com).
The Criminal Justice System applies theory X in its management where decision-making is centralized in a top down hierarchical system. This is especially true in police departments where most decisions are made by department heads and funneled down to the chain of command for execution and/or implementation. The Chief of Police makes decisions that affect the entire department. Similarly in the court system there is a set of rules and procedure that the actors must follow. Because of the structured nature of the criminal Justice System everyone involved have to play by the rules that is set forth by the laws of the jurisdiction in which they function. In such a system it would be difficult to maintain a Theory X and the rules and regulation that is set forth to govern police departments and court systems are extremely necessary to maintaining order and smooth operation. Given the size of some the police departments around the country, the New York Police Department (NYPD) boast approximately 34,500 officers (Government, New York City) along with the thousands of workers