Sociology Index

Z Theory

Theory X, Theory Y

Z Theory is a form of management in which workers are involved in the work process on the factory floor. Schedules, division of labor, work assignments, and other aspects of the labor process are given over to workers to do as they see best.

Theory Z was developed by William Ouchi, in his book 1981 'Theory Z: How American management can Meet the Japanese Challenge'. William Ouchi is professor of management at UCLA, Los Angeles. Theory Z is often referred to as the 'Japanese' management style. It's interesting that Ouchi chose to name his model 'Theory Z', which tends to give the impression that it's a Mcgregor idea.

Theory Z essentially advocates a combination of all that's best about Mcgregor's XY theory and modern Japanese management, which places a large amount of freedom and trust with workers, and assumes that workers have a strong loyalty and interest in team-working and the organisation.

Theory Z also places more reliance on the attitude and responsibilities of the workers, whereas Mcgregor's XY theory is mainly focused on management and motivation from the manager's and organisation's perspective.

Theory Z places reliance on the attitude and responsibilities of the workers, whereas Mcgregor's XY theory is mainly focused on management and motivation from the manager's and organisation's perspective.

Theory Z stresses the need for enabling workers to become generalists, rather than specialists, and to increase their knowledge of the company and its processes through job rotations and continual training.

Theory Z makes assumes that workers tend to want to build cooperative and intimate working relationships with those that they work for and with, as well as the people that work for them.

Theory Z workers need to be supported by the company, and they highly value a working environment in which such things as family, cultures and traditions, and social institutions are regarded as equally important as the work itself.