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A method of classifying manager's attitudes toward their employees has been developed, and it consists of two groups called Theory X and Theory Y. As you read through the following, make notes of statements that you agree with and those that you disagree with. This topic will help you to begin to determine what you think and believe about your employees. Be as honest with yourself as you can, which is not as easy as it may at first sound.

Theory X:

  • Most people dislike work and will avoid it when they can.
  • People must be pushed and threatened with punishment in order to get them to produce enough to achieve company objectives.
  • The average worker has very little ambition, wants to be directed, and will avoid responsibility whenever possible.
  • Life is not fair; rewards do not follow results.
  • Managers must do all of the planning for workers.

Theory Y:

  • People naturally want to work, as children want to play.
  • People will control themselves in order to achieve goals they set for themselves.
  • People's level of commitment to goals and objectives is related to the rewards for the achievement of them.
  • Under the proper conditions, people will learn to accept and seek out responsibilities.
  • The ability to imagine, demonstrate ingenuity, be creative, and to develop solutions to problems is naturally shared by most people to some degree.
  • Most people today work at a level less than what they're capable of achieving, if properly motivated to excel.
  • People want to participate in planning their own future.
  • They want to contribute to the highest degree that they can.
  • They believe that rewards follow results, that the game is fair.
  • Managers should only review plans that have been developed in collaboration with the worker, not develop the plan totally for the worker.

In matters of principal - stand like a rock! In matters of style - swim like a fish! Do you have a single management style that works best for you.

Mike Holt's Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills' Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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Business Management 101 — 2002
The field of Business Management encompasses many activities that influence the profitability of your company either directly or indirectly. Many of these activities are interlinked one to the other making separation of individual activities a bit difficult. To facilitate your grasp of the uniqueness of the individual activities of management, this workbook is divided into the following four general subject areas. Only topics unique to each subject area are included so that you may at first develop an understanding of the simpler individual parts. With a fundamental understanding of these under your belt, the integrated natur of business management will be easier to internalize, facilitating a solid understanding of the field of Business Management.

In the course of developing these workbooks, it was determined that several topics warrant far greater detail than can be included within the scope of workbooks of this type. As you go through this series of Business Management, on occasion you’ll notice references to other workbooks in this series. Each of these covers specific topics in greater detail. These additional workbooks will aid in your continuing education in the area of Business Management.

  • Chapter 1 - Business Management
  • Chapter 2 - Financial Management
  • Chapter 3 - Job Management - (Project)
  • Chapter 4 - Human Asset Management - (Employees)

A master table of contents is provided at the beginning of this workbook and each section has its own table of contents for easier referencing of material. To further aid comprehension, as each topic is covered the reader is presented with a sheet and a series of questions. These questions aid in the development of a listing of individual objectives that lead incrementally to obtainment of your goal of improving your business management abilities.

Product Code: BMBK

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