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Behavioral Science Theory Essay

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Theory X

In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can. Because of this, workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. Furthermore, Theory X supervisors cannot trust any employee, and they reveal this to their support staff via their communications constantly.

Theory X managers naturally adopt a more authoritarian style based on the threat of punishment. One major flaw of this management style is it is much more likely to cause Diseconomies of Scale in large businesses.

 Theory Y

In this theory, management assumes employees may be ambitious, self-motivated, and anxious to accept greater responsibility, and exercise self-control, self-direction, autonomy, and empowerment. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties.

It is also believed that if given the chance employees have the desire to be creative and forward thinking in the workplace. There is a chance for greater productivity by giving employees the freedom to perform at the best of their abilities without being bogged down by rules. A Theory Y manager believes that, given the right conditions, most people will want to do well at work and that there is a pool of unused creativity in the workforce.

Application of theory X and Y in the US Navy

Almost every organization, adopts either theory X or Y in managing their employees or workforce. The application of any one of these theories depends on the culture of the organization, the attitude of managers towards their employees and vise-versa and the personalities of both employers and employees.

The US Navy is not an exception to these management practices and applications. When the Navy recruits individuals, they usually apply Theory X. At this stage, they adopt a more authoritarian style based on the threat of punishment. The supervisors’ believe that the recruits are inherently lazy and will train if they can. They should be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls should be put in place in their training camps.

At this stage, it is believed that the recruits will try to avoid responsibility whenever they can. The supervisors cannot trust the recruits and they reveal this to them through their communication constantly. Theory X continues to be applied in the Navy even after the recruits have passed and have been incorporated in the navy. They continue receiving orders from their commanders and supervisors.

Theory Y is applied in the US navy once an individual climbs the ladder and becomes the commander or supervisor. At this stage, it is assumed that the commanders/supervisors are ambitious, self-motivated, and anxious to accept greater responsibility, exercise self-control, self-direction, and autonomy and are empowered. At this stage, the supervisors enjoy their mental and physical work duties. They have the desire to be creative and move forward. Given the right conditions, they will always want to do well at work and use their creativity in bettering the Navy operations.

Even though these approaches are, what are commonly used, the US Navy should try to apply theory Z. This theory is good, since it welcomes a more human and more effective way of managing people. It offers a long term, often lifetime employment, with a high value placed on mutual loyalty. Promotion in this case is relatively slow and specialized career paths for individuals and the development of specific skills is encouraged. This approach emphasizes decision by consensus and insists on individual responsibility. It is also preferred since it places attention to the welfare of subordinates as well as encourage informal relationships among individuals.

How do your two scores relate to your experience at work?

In theory x is visible in most organizations. We find employees not ready to work unsupervised thus need for supervisors to monitor their activities. Managers on the other hand do not trust their employees and they usually carry out check up on them. In theory y we find employees when left alone to work they are likely to be more productive.

What motivates individuals to put forth effort on the job?

Motivation is reasons for engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior. These reasons may include basic needs such as food or a desired object, hobbies, goal, state of being, or ideal. The motivation for a behavior may also be attributed to less-apparent reasons such as altruism or morality. What motivates people include things like money, praise, rewards, and opportunities to make decisions and be creative. Content theories include:

How are people motivated on the job?

People can be motivated by; positive reinforcement or high expectations, effective discipline and punishment, treating people fairly, satisfying employees needs, setting work related goals, restructuring jobs, base rewards on job performance.

 

REFERENCES

  1. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Psychology – The Search for Understanding by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin, and Beverly A. Drinnien.West Publishing Company, New York, 1987.
  2. http://www.accel-team.com/motivation/
  3. Colman, Andrew M. Behavioral Science. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  4. Foulks Lynch. ACCA Paper 1.3 Managing People. Ashford Press Ltd, 2005.

 

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