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The Human Side of Enterprise, Annotated Edition Hardcover – January 11, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0071462228 ISBN-10: 0071462228 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (January 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071462228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071462228
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

McGregor’s enduring principles—Brought to life for the next generation of managers.

“Today, there is indeed growing evidence to suggest that we are in the early or middle stages of a second industrial divide, which has been variously characterized as involving an information revolution, increased interconnection across global markets, the rise of flexible specialization in production and service operations, and a transformation toward knowledge-driven work in all sectors of the economy.

McGregor understood, anticipated, and helped point the way toward what may well emerge as a future model of work, organizations and society that is rooted in core assumptions driving participative, interdependent, authentic, inventive and productive relationships. However, the alternative, an economic “race to the bottom” based on increasingly individualistic, control-oriented and competitive assumptions, is also a very real possibility. As we venture forth, McGregor's insights about the 'human side of enterprise' continue to be a beacon. We must continue to ask, as he did: 'What are your assumptions (implicit as well as explicit) about the most effective way to manage people?'” --From the Introduction by Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

About the Author

Douglas McGregor is one of the most influential management thinkers of all time. His Theory Y approach is at the core of virtually all of today's leading management and workplace models. He was a founding faculty member of MIT's Sloan School of Management and served as president of Antioch College.

Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld is a Senior Research Scientist in MIT's Sloan School of Management and Engineering Systems Division, where his scholarship centers on underlying values and assumptions about people at work, in organizations, in complex systems, and across societies-building on and extending the core of McGregor's contribution.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is a great business book: highly recommended.
Amazon Customer
I say, "yes" -- it is a way of showing appreciation for the relevancy of the original text.
J. Cutcher Gershenfeld
This book is the defining moment for the correct utilization of human potential.
Kenneth W. Brock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Cutcher Gershenfeld on November 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently discovered the posting about this book under the name of "a reader," which I find troubling.

On the one hand, I join in the view that the beginning of the book has too much material. This was discussed with the publisher; we erred on the side of being inclusive and, in retrospect, we should have kept things simpler as an entry into the text.

On the other hand, it is offensive in many ways when this person (using a pseudonym) implies that inserting additional comments throughout the text is equivalent to Downs Syndrome.

Behind these comments is both a reification (rather than an appreciation) of the original text and an over simplification of what I believe Douglas McGregor meant by "Theory Y."

The original text is brilliant and visionary. It was not designed, however, to be put on a pedestal. A journey into deep underlying assumptions is complicated, challenging, engaging, and interactive. By inserting my own editor's comments and entries submitted by many others, we have attempted to create a dialogue with the text. Could this be further improved? Absolutely. Is it appropriate to take a management classic and integrate dialogue and commentary? I say, "yes" -- it is a way of showing appreciation for the relevancy of the original text.

Although it is not stated, I suspect what is really going on with the posted comment is a fundamental difference of opinion on what is meant by "Theory Y." There is a school of thought (perhaps including this reader) that interprets McGregor's "Theory Y" as only valuing teamwork, consensus, and a unitary approach to management.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Douglas McGregor was a great boss. Wise, witty and insightful, he had extraordinary respect for his employees and believed that if they had the opportunity, they would be enthusiastic, responsible and ethical in the workplace. He believed this so strongly that he wrote this book in 1960 and forever changed management, whose predominant philosophy at that time was that people were inherently lazy, and would work only if you forced and punished them. McGregor was only 58 when he died in 1964, but his contributions to management theory and practice ensure his enduring legacy. In his introduction to this edition of McGregor's classic, commentator Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld points out that in 2004 and 2005 - nearly 50 years after it was published - business journalists and theorists still referred to McGregor's work repeatedly in print. Furthermore, you can apply his philosophy and principles to your everyday life and relationships. McGregor has a tendency to overwrite and, at times, he doubles back over territory that he's already covered. But these are quibbles. getAbstract believes this persuasive book will alter your views about management and your fellow workers. If you supervise others and you haven't yet read it - what are you waiting for?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By O. Halabieh on March 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Below are selected excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "It seems clear to me that the making of managers, in so far as they are made, is only to a rather small degree the result of management's formal efforts in management development. It is to a much greater degree the result of management's conception of the nature of its task and of all the policies and practices which are constructed to implement this conception. The way a business is managed determines to a very large extent what people are perceived to have "potential" and how they develop. We go off on the wrong track when we seek to study management development in terms of the formal machinery of programs carrying this label."

2- "All managerial decisions and actions rest on assumptions about behavior...We can improve our ability to control only if we recognize that control consists in selective adaptation to human nature rather than in attempting to make human nature conform to our wishes."

3- "The desirable end of the growth process is an ability to strike a balance - to tolerate certain forms of dependence without being unduly frustrated, and at the same time to stand alone in some respects without undue anxiety."

4- "The power to influence others is not a function of the amount of authority one can exert. It is, rather, a function of the appropriate selection of the means of influence which the particular circumstances require. Conventional organization theory teaches us that power and authority are coextensive. Consequently, relinquishing authority is seen as losing the power to control. This is a completely misleading conception.
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By Lisa A Walker on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This item was a great find for me. I was able to give it as a gift because it was in great condition and for a great price. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
We all recognise the inspiration that comes from working in motivated, high performing teams and have wondered, "Why can't it be like this all the time?" but, in trying to replicate it, most of us get lost in organisation charts and control procedures.
McGregor cuts through all of this, to identify what really motivates people, and comes up with two models of behaviour, Theory X and Theory Y. He convincingly builds the case that each leads to a distinctly different cultures and performance: Theory X is command-and-control whereas Theory Y is empowering and they create, respectively, vicious and virtual circles of behavioural feedback. Sounds obvious? Perhaps, but McGregor goes deeper in order to expose fraudulent and manipulative techniques in which managers `sell' ideas when it is patently clear that employee dissent is not an option.
OK, before I go on, I have to admit that McGregor first published his principles in 1960. He had spotted large differences in management styles in post war industries and applied his intellect and energy to a difference-analysis of behaviours and performance. But an amazing thing about this book is its freshness. Maybe it is because McGregor was so thorough, ignoring transient issues in order to get down to the basics. His outlook is optimistic but the modern reader may wonder what we have achieved in the last forty five years: could we really have gone backwards?
McGregor was inspired by, and wrote a lot about, the Scanlon Plan, which is a good thing because Joe Scanlon didn't. I have to admit that I had never heard of Joe Scanlon but it seems that he developed techniques in the 1930s that we would now recognise as part of TQM and Kaizen.
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