What makes a good manager? Though we can probably all point to someone we think of as a good manager, what precisely makes them so good at their job is a complex question – and one central to good business organization. Management scholar Douglas McGregor’s seminal 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise is perhaps the most influential attempt to answer that question, and provides an excellent example of strong evaluative and reasoning skills in action.
Evaluation is all about judging the strength and weakness of positions: a critical evaluation asks how acceptable a line of reasoning is, how adequate, relevant and convincing the evidence is. McGregor sought to find out what makes a good manager by evaluating different management approaches, their assumptions about human behavior, and effects they had. In his view, management approaches could be roughly broken down into two “theories”: Theory X, which held a negative idea of employee motivations; and Theory Y, which made positive assumptions about them. In McGregor’s evaluation, Theory Y produced markedly better results in productivity and other measurable areas. On this basis, McGregor reasoned out a strong, persuasive argument for adopting Theory Y strategies on a grand scale.
Ways in to the Text
Who was Douglas McGregor?
What does The Human Side of Enterprise Say?
Why does The Human Side of Enterprise Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text