Theory X is more applicable to the interpretation of contemporary trade relations in society. The fact is that Douglas McGregor called the prerequisites of an authoritarian leader in relation to workers as Theory X. It is important to list them:
- People initially do not like to work and avoid work whenever possible;
- People do not have ambition and they try to get rid of responsibility, preferring to be led;
- What people want most is security;
- Coercion, control, and the threat of punishment must be used to force workers to work.
Based on such initial assumptions, the manager usually centralizes authority as much as possible, structures the work of subordinates and gives them little freedom in decision-making. This does not mean distrust or contempt of employees; on the contrary, the manager seeks to simplify the goals, break them into smaller ones, and set each subordinate his own specific task, which makes it easy to control its implementation. Thus, people do not experience stress and great responsibility since one individual tightly manages all the work within his competence and, in order to ensure the performance of the work, can exert psychological pressure. The hierarchical division in such organizations, as a rule, is very strict, the channels for collecting information work clearly and promptly. This type of leader concentrates on meeting the elementary needs of his subordinates and uses the most autocratic management style. Theory X assumes that a person in work is initially lazy and passive, tries to evade work and avoid responsibility, and does not show any kind of initiative. It is impossible to do without a regulated and hierarchical system of coercion of such an employee in the management of the organization. He needs constant monitoring, punishment for mistakes and encouragement for success in daily care from the leader. Thus, theory X embodies a purely mechanistic approach to the consideration of personality, assuming that the basis of its development is the repeated repetition of an action leading to its automation.
The fact is that laziness or unwillingness to overcome difficulties is the natural reflex of any living being. Money and public relations are not laid down by nature but by society, which does not control the quality of work, but only indicates recommendations. The effectiveness of Theory X lies in the fact that it is the appeal to owl-like instincts that increases overall efficiency. In addition, it does not imply humiliation or abuse of power. In any case, a person remains a person, but in order for a particular individual to be able to overcome laziness, it is necessary to put him in an appropriate situation.
In addition, if we consider the mechanism of initiative, then the vast majority of people are not able to make a decision without the help of others. At the same time, most people show their effectiveness when they are forced to do so by external forces. For example, a person may never be able to make a decision, but if the time comes in and others start to put pressure on him, then the individual will immediately make a choice. The same is true for labor relations, so individuals do not want to make decisions for fear of responsibility; they must be forced to do something to achieve a result. In other words, theory X, despite its rigor, is a realistic and applicable mechanism for achieving the workability of large masses of people.