Want to start a fight at your next meeting? Ask everyone what they think of a management theory from ages past. If they know what you're talking about, they'll either groan and roll their eyes, or they'll start telling you why such-and-such a theory should still be practiced today. That's because most of these fads are a "love 'em or hate 'em" proposition. Fans claim that adhering to a given theory will help you advance your career; detractors say it's a waste of time. No wonder, then, that so many management fads have faded away -- and for good reason.
In 1960, Douglas Murray McGregor's book The Human Side of Enterprise, proposed that a manager's personal assumptions about human nature determine how that individual manages their employees. McGregor identified two distinct management styles utilized to motivate workers; he called them Theory X and Theory Y.