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The Human Side of Enterprise: 25th Anniversary Printing 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070450981
ISBN-10: 0070450986
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 1 edition (August 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070450986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070450981
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,909,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book changed my life. I assumed I was lazy because I didn't like my work. McGregor helped me to see that I wasn't simply mercenary in my attitude toward work. He posits that each person can discover an almost hidden potential for satisfaction at work that will drive the individual to heights of achievement that are as intrinsically satisfying and remunerative to him/her as they are, of course, to the employer. I used to preserve a status quo and just mouth agreement to get along. I was unhappy because work didn't satisfy latent higher order achievement goals which I think I had subjugated through fear. Regardless of this personal scenario, what I think McGregor provides are key clues and methods for creating an environment in which the fear of offering ideas goes away. There are key pychological/environmental conditions which give rise to people who begin offering ideas and personal investment that they previously could never believe were possible. Read this book if you are hungry to have your people discover their strengths and begin to use them. Read this book if you are wondering what its going to take for you personally to buy into what your company is doing. I would rather be the janitor at NASA who believes his efforts are putting a man on the moon than an executive who has lost vision for what his company is doing.
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Format: Hardcover
This book does a great job in describing how humans are motivated and the practical implications for applying that as a manager. Any manager that wants to have a team that is self motivated and involved in their work should read this book. This requires that the manager create a framework in which the employee gets concrete feedback and understands his contribution to the organization. Once that framework is in place the employee will want to excel. Before reading this book I tended to think of employee measurement as a heavy handed, big brother tactic. After reading this book I have a better understanding of why keeping track in business is just like keeping score in golf or basketball. Keeping score if done to let someone track their own performance and not used as a management stick allows the business person at any level in the organization to improve and feel successful. A good complement to this book is "Keeping Score : Using the Right Metrics to Drive World-Class Performance" by Mark Graham Brown
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, written in 1960, is one of the true management classics, one of the greatest and most influential management books of the past century. McGregor describes Theory X and Theory Y, two fundamentally different ways managers view their employees. McGregor describes Theory X as the dominant view: people ar seem as lazy, not very capable, unwilling to work (unless you make them work), opportunistic and prepared to deceive (providing they think they won't be caught). Theory Y views people in a much more positive way: they are seen as intrinsically motivated, willing to work and basically honest. Now the essential point: the way you view people determines the way you treat them and the way you interpret their behavior, which determines the way they will respond to you, which in turn will reinforce the way you view(ed) them. In other words: both Theory X and Theory Y are true because they create their own reality! They are self-fulfilling prophecies. If you have a choice, what do you choose? This book, written many years ago, is still an interesting read and I think you can still read it in 2060 and find it relevant and interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had this classic of management on my shelves for year and have read the famous first chapters about Theory X and Theory Y many time, but I had never taken the time to read through the whole book before. I regret that now. Not only did Douglas McCregor contributed the basic concepts of Theory X/Y but he also already saw 60 years ago the implication in how that could change the workplace. Even today in 2013, only a few companies are truly adopting Theory Y assumptions, but it is a start and hopefully a start towards a more human workplace.

The Human Side of Enterprise consists of 3 parts and is in total about 250 pages. I found it a well-written and easy to read book. The first part introduces the concepts of Theory X and Theory Y. Both of these are assumptions of human nature that lie behind certain management practices. The Theory X approach (as exemplified by "scientific management") believes the nature of humans is to be lazy and management needs to do whatever they can to extract effort out of the lazy humans. Theory Y basically assumes that people want to spend effort on work, like on play, and that we need to build environments that truly satisfy basic human needs of self-actualization. Theory Y management practices tend to be very participatory where everyone is involved in deciding how to work.

Part two explains how Theory Y assumptions would impact and dramatically change the way organizations work. McGregor covers many parts of organizations from a wonderful analysis of performance reviews to the responsibilities of managers and staff organizations. I especially enjoyed his analyze of performance reviews as it seems to way ahead of its time as even today that subject seems nearly taboo in most organizations.
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