Revisiting of theory X and Y a multilevel analysis of the effects of leaders’ managerial assumptions on followers’ attitudes

Sait Gürbüz*, Faruk Şahin, Onur Köksal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of leaders’ Theory X and Y managerial assumptions on subordinates’ attitudes and behaviors. 

Design/methodology/approach

Military leaders (n¼50) completed a questionnaire with Theory X and Y scale and their subordinates (n¼150) completed a questionnaire with the scales of satisfaction with leader, affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior. The paper used hierarchical linear modeling to test the hypotheses. 

Findings

The results indicated that the Theory Y management style is significantly and positively associated with subordinates’ satisfaction with the leader, affective commitment, and organizational citizenship behaviors. The Theory X management style had a significantly negative impact on subordinates’ satisfaction with the leader, but no significant impact on affective commitment and organizational citizenship behavior. The findings of the present study suggest that the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions are a worthwhile basis from which to examine several important organizational and individual outcomes. 

Research limitations/implications

The sample consisted of military personnel and were predominantly male. This may limit the generalizability of the findings. 

Practical implications

The findings of the present study suggest that the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions are a worthwhile basis from which to examine several important organizational and individual outcomes. 

Originality/value

Although McGregor’s (1960) Theory X and Y have contributed to management and leadership thinking and practice for many years; empirical studies examining the Theory X and Y managerial assumptions in a work environment are very scarce. By examining the effect of leader’s Theory X and Y managerial assumptions on follower’s attitudes and behaviors, the study provides important insights for leadership literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1888-1906
JournalManagement Decision
Volume52
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Affective commitment
  • Military personnel
  • Organizational citizenship behaviour
  • Satisfaction with leader
  • Social exchange theory
  • Theory X and Y management styles

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Revisiting of theory X and Y a multilevel analysis of the effects of leaders’ managerial assumptions on followers’ attitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this