Behavioral management theories address the issue of human participation in organizations. They work on the assumption that satisfaction at the workplace results in improved performance (Robbins & Judge, 2013). The author of this paper holds that behavioral management takes into account some aspects of McGregor’s theories X and Y. In this paper, the theoretical frameworks are analyzed in the context of criminal justice organizations. In this paper, a comparison is made between the two. In addition to their application in criminal justice institutions, the models will be analyzed in relation to their benefits as far as the management of contemporary employees is concerned. Today’s manager may find it important to use some aspects of these theories.
Introduction to the Theories
Douglas McGregor formulated his two theories after examining the behavior of individual employees at their places of work. The frameworks are characterized by two opposing views with regards to human behavior in a working environment (Robbins & Judge, 2013).
Theory X has a pessimistic view of the employee. It asserts that workers are inherently lazy. They do not like work. For them to deliver, they must be commanded and threatened by the management. At times, supervisors have to use force on the employees to make them perform. The theory is of the opinion that workers are reluctant to take responsibility over their jobs. In most cases, they lack initiative and wait for supervised instructions. Operating under such circumstances, according to this school of thought, is marred by insecurities. The average employee lacks ambition and the drive to move forward. In most cases, the theory asserts that their performance fails to meet their job description. On the contrary, they just work to make their bosses happy (Peak, 2012).
On its part, theory Y adopts a positive outlook towards the individual. It holds that employees are naturally creative and tend to come up with new ways of improving their performance. In addition, their output goes beyond the stipulated requirements. The employees have a working relationship with their superiors. The two parties work together for the sake of the organization (Robbins & Judge, 2013). They synchronize their roles to achieve the company’s objectives. Unlike theory X, theory Y is of the opinion that employees regard work the same way they view rest and play. They are characterized by self-direction and self-control. The theoretical framework assumes that individuals are responsible. They seek out and accept leadership roles. Just like their seniors, the workers are capable of making sound decisions under minimum or no supervision. The workers who seek to improve the organization are viewed as an integral part of the company. As such, they should be nurtured, encouraged, and rewarded (Peak, 2012).
Theories X and Y and Criminal Justice Systems
Employees working in criminal justice organizations operate under unique standards and regulations. For example, the operations of an office in these institutions require cooperation to ensure that offenders are effectively dealt with (Bennett & Hess, 2009). The two theories can be used to manage today’s employees, albeit with differing degrees of success. For example, if employees are managed from the perspective of theory X, the integrity of the institution may be compromised. To avoid this, the managers should adopt some aspects of theory Y in handling their charges.
Under theory Y, a criminal justice officer is viewed as a significant part of the whole system. An effective manager should enhance the confidence of the employees by making sure that they work together as a team. A theory X supervisor, however, may be beneficial to the justice system organization, in spite of the various shortcomings of this framework. For example, they are likely to pay attention to the operations of their subordinates. Close supervision reduces errors on the part of the officers. Employees working in the criminal justice system face a lot of challenges. As such, there is need for firm leadership, which can only be provided by adopting theory X. A manager operating from the perspective of theory Y may achieve the same objectives, but without coercion and with less supervision. Consultations are encouraged. They replace the verbal commands associated with theory X. However, some measure of control over workers is needed to enhance their performance (Robbins and Judge, 2013).
When theory Y is utilized, employees are likely to be more dedicated to their work. The reason is that by nature, all individuals wish to be valued and recognized for what they do (Randall, 2011).
Summary and Conclusion
The use of McGregor’s theories X and Y in the running of criminal justice agencies was analyzed in this paper. It was made clear that leadership calls for participation as opposed to coercion. However, managers should not rely on a single theory to manage employees. On the contrary, they should embrace the beneficial elements of the two frameworks. They should come up with a unique hybrid theory, which will help them improve the efficiency of today’s judicial systems.
Bennett, W., & Hess, K. (2009). Management and supervision in enforcement law. New York: Random House.
Peak, K. (2012). Justice administration: Police, courts, and corrections management (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Randall, S. (2011). Personnel and human resource management (10th ed.). Washington, D.C.: Macmillan Press.
Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational behavior (15th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.