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Comparative Analysis of Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z, and Theory A for Managing People and Performance


  • Aithal, Sreeramana
  • Kumar, Suresh


Organizational Behaviour in the context of people management consists of several theories in which Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z are the newly introduced. Theory X and Y were created and developed by Douglas McGregor in the 1960s. Theory X says that the average human being is lazy and self-centred, lacks ambition, dislikes change, and longs to be told what to do. Theory Y maintains that human beings are active rather than passive shapers of themselves and of their environment. They long to grow and assume responsibility. The best way to manage them, is to manage as little as possible. Theory Z of William Ouchi focused on increasing employee loyalty to the company by providing a job for life with a strong focus on the wellbeing of the employee, both on and off the job. The above three theories were developed based on research conducted in various production related organizations in 20th century. In 21st century, due to changes in business models, automation of production process, changes in technology & business environment, and changes in people perception, organizations are transforming into global entities - a new theory in organizational behaviour called Theory A (Theory of Accountability) has been developed. In this paper, we have made an attempt to compare these four human motivational theories. A model framework for implementation of theory A in an organization is also discussed. The paper also consider the impact of theory A on modern organizational performance.

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  • Aithal, Sreeramana & Kumar, Suresh, 2016. "Comparative Analysis of Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z, and Theory A for Managing People and Performance," MPRA Paper 72974, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:72974

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aithal, Sreeramana & Kumar, Suresh, 2016. "Analysis of Choice Based Credit System in Higher Education," MPRA Paper 71743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Aithal, Sreeramana & V.T., Shailashree & Kumar, Suresh, 2016. "Application of ABCD Analysis Framework on Private University System in India," MPRA Paper 71769, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Apr 2016.
    3. Aithal, Sreeramana & Shenoy, Varun, 2016. "Changing Approaches in Campus Placements: A New Futuristic Model," MPRA Paper 72245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aithal, Sreeramana, 2016. "The concept of Ideal Strategy and its realization using White Ocean Mixed Strategy," MPRA Paper 71770, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Aithal, Sreeramana & Aithal, Shubhrajyotsna, 2015. "Ideal Technology Concept & its Realization Opportunity using Nanotechnology," MPRA Paper 71380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aithal, Sreeramana & Aithal, Shubhrajyotsna, 2020. "Promoting Faculty and Student-Centered Research and Innovation based Excellence Model to Reimage Universities," MPRA Paper 101751, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Organizational theories; Theory X; Theory Y; Theory Z; Theory A;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management


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