Comparing theories X, Y, Z, one minute manager and total quality management

Introduction

During the last fifty years, a great many management trends and fashions turn up. In the essay, three management theories will be examined including theories X, Y, Z, the one minute manager and total quality management to pick up the one with greatest value in 2012 by investigation into several companies’ examples.

I Theories X Y Z

Theory explanation

To achieve a better understanding of the human nature works as a curial aspect for management in any organization. And to assist both the managers and workers to work together in an effective and productive manner to improve the overall performance of their organization, it is extremely important for managers to own the knowledge of how to support their subordinates by the suitable leadership style and for employees to how they can work suitably to fit them into the entire working environment (Bittel 1989). Theories X, Y, Z are to look into the attitudes from both organizational managers and employees to help organizations develop a better understand on how to actually motivate their people (Bittel 1989).

Firstly, in terms of theory X, Bittel (1989) mentioned it shows the attitude that people don’t prefer to do their work, hence it is necessary for the organizational management to remove those direct pressure and control on employees to make them work effectively. People, namely the employees are described as the ones who call for a relatively rigidly management environment and are seemed to respond to the threats of disciplinary action and money rewards as their motivations to work hard and produce the expected performance for their company. .

Moreover, according to DuBrin (1990), from the perspective of the organizational management, managers in the theory X is believed to prefer to retain a high degree of their authority on both decision making and information informing part so as to ensure their subordinates to be able to carry out their instructions. Generally speaking, in theory X, managers are described to be more task oriented, who pay great attention to getting the job accomplished but with almost little or no attention to employees attitudes or perspectives.

Secondly, Bittel (1989) believed theory Y was a more popular view compared to theory X in the relationship between managers and their workers. In theory Y, people namely employees are described to be creative and eager in their work. In theory Y, employees are willing to afford more responsibilities and own strong desire to join in the process of decision making compared to workers in theory X. As Lee (1982) mentioned, workers in theory Y are defined as more prevalent to the work place compared to workers in theory X. for example, workers, in theory Y are believed to possess increasing creativity, imagination and ingenuity towards their works, who both seek to afford more responsibility and increased authority. And at the same time, DuBrin (1990) also mentioned managers in theory Y are more like participative leaders or democratic leaders who prefer to share the decision making process with their workers or be so welcome to the suggestions offered by their workers.

Thirdly, another popular theory which emerged late is the theory Z, which is more like the management style of Japanese managers according to Luthans (1989). And Luthans (1989) further mentioned the management style in theory Z is more like a hybrid management style with is built up on the American management style and Japanese management style. Workers of theory Z are described to own the well developed qualities includes the sense of order, moral responsibility of hard working, the high awareness of relationship building and maintenance with their colleagues and so on.

Moreover, Massie and Douglas (1992) mentioned managers in theory Z have a high confidence level towards their workers to enable the workers to become the generalists but not the specialists by the assistance of job rotations as well as continual developing and trainings for employees to enhance their knowledge and skills required by their company. Generally speaking, under the guidance of theory Z, the workforce is expected to be built with high level of loyalty on working in their company for their whole career life and more permanence.

Company examples and estimation

Example of Akzo

In Theory X people don’t prefer to do their work, hence it is necessary for the organizational management to remove those direct pressure and control on employees to make them work effectively (Bittel 1989). In Theory Y workers are defined as more prevalent to the work place compared to workers in theory X (Lee 1982). And in Theory Z workers are described to own the well developed qualities includes the sense of order, moral responsibility of hard working, the high awareness of relationship building and maintenance with their colleagues and so on and managers often have high confidence level towards their workers to enable the workers to become the generalists but not the specialists by the assistance of job rotations as well as continual developing and trainings for employees to enhance their knowledge and skills required by their company (Massie and Douglas 1992).

To better understand the value of theories X, Y, Z, let take a close look at these managerial practices of Paint Akzo, which is a big giant in world coating business and pharmaceutical industry. While under the lead of its former leaders, the developing and operation practices of Akzo isnt well such as the pension deficit of $ 3 billion, high operation cost in costing and chemicals and the failure of the approval getting from its new antidepressant medicine named Japirone (Urquhart 2006 ).

To save this embarrassing situation, theories X, Y, Z are the right option, especially the theory Z, which believes the quality of workers in organizations and managers optimistic attitudes towards their employees and the good relationship between the management and ordinary employees are the determinants for success (Bittel 1989 & Lee 1982 & Massie, Douglas 1992). In Akzo, what should the new leader Hans Wijers follow is theory Z. On the one hand, Wijers should rebuild the relationship between him and his subordinates to gain their trust and then some new policies or changes may be easily and successfully carried out (Dunphy n.d). This is also what Wijers has done in the beginning of his leadership career in Akzo (Urquhart 2006 ). For example, Wijers has designed and carried out two applicable strategies as theory Zs guidance to build relationships in Akzo. The first strategy is to make changes in Akzos pension scheme from the final salary to the defined contribution salary to better meet the needs of employees in Akzo. And the second strategy from Wijers is to replace Akzos management team and give the chanced for those who want to show their ability.

Generally speaking, under the belief of relationship building and mutual trust building, Akzos performance under Wijers management becomes better and better. For example, the sales are expected to be enlarged to a large extent, employees and shareholders are mollified and encouraged by Akzos rejuvenation and the lag business section such as the pharmaceutical section regains its prosperity as before. In a word, the fact from Akzo proves the correctness and value of theories X, Y, Z for managers in the year 2012.

Example of New Oriental, China

New Oriental & Technology Group is most famous foreign language training corporation in mainland China, founded by Michael Minhong Yu in 1993 (Yu & Li 2003). There are some problems inside the human resource policies of New Oriental & Technology Group from our research such as high training costs, low competitiveness of employees and working passion (Yu 2008).

In New Oriental & Technology Group’s practice mentioned above, theories X, Y, Z works also as good potion for it to make its performance better such as lowing training costs but improve training outcomes and improve employees competitiveness(Yu 2008). As the above mentioned, one issue supported by theories X, Y, Z especially theory Z is the intensive and continuous training and developing programs and emphasis on the sustainable training outcomes which may alleviate the high training cost and make full use of the trainings to make its outcomes working into a long term round (Mark et al. 2002). For instance, cross training measure, on the job training method and other kinds of effective training means are all aimed to generate long term benefits and results, which hold the same tenet as theories X, Y, Z believing to improve training outcomes under the same cost. In other word, with the same training investment, with the guide of theories X, Y, Z New Oriental & Technology Group may generate more training outcomes, namely the training cost will be reduced compared the previous time (Mark et al. 2002).

Examples of New Era Textile Garment Factory China

New Era Textile Garment Company of China has founded in 1995 Guangdong province of China, with more than 2,000 workers and 60 managerial staffs, which plans to carry out merger with another big factory named Hong Ling Garment Company to improve its comprehensive capability in Garment making industry of China (Seijts 2006). Because of the merging, several existing problems have to be solved. At first, the original leadership style in New Era Textile Garment Company is estimated as autocratic style which makes the relationship between management and employees indifferent and stiff resulting in low productivity and low working morale and high working pressures for employees. This situation makes the competitiveness of New Era Textile Garment Company relatively low compared to other competitors (Seijts 2006). And the decision making power has been controlled by top management, which makes the decision making or plans designing rigid and lacking in vitality (Kisner n.d.). To change this situation after merging, theories X, Y, Z are good option for this garment making company as well.

On the one hand, theories X, Y, Z support participative leadership style, especially theory Y and Z, which is suitable for the current situation of New Era Textile Garment Company (Bittel 1989 & Lee 1982 & Massie, Douglas 1992). On the other hand, participative leadership may help management in Garment Company of China to build the trust and cooperation relationship and then improve working passion and productivity to improve their working safety and satisfactory because participative leadership style is to offer guidelines and encouragement for people in Garment Company of China, which may be more suitable and better for the current situation and emotion of employees in China (Mark 2009).

Generally speaking, under New Era Textile Garment Company’s situation Theories X, Y, Z is with great value.

II The One Minute Manager

Theory explanation

Blanchard and Johnson (1983) defined the one minute management theory in their book, which told a story about a young man consults the perfect managers about the perfect management skills. Blanchard and Johnson (1983) outline three simple but important principles for management which are defined as the one minute goals.

The first principle or secret described by the one minute managers is the importance of goal setting in a clear manner. In this theory, it mentions if the organizational managers, the workers or they working together are able to be guided under the specified organizational goals such as what the actual goal is, which objective they are headed and so on, the chance for these people in the organization to get the destination and accomplish the goal will be enhanced. Moreover, in the first principle, Blanchard and Johnson (1983) emphasized the importance on deciding the goal at the very beginning for an organization will be much effective and achievable than setting up the goal later.

The second principle in the one minute manager is the importance of praising especially the praising for people towards their well done work (Blanchard & Johnson 1983). There are many tips given by Blanchard and Johnson (1983) to carry out the one minute praising. At first, it is important for managers to inform workers up front that they will be told how exact their performance is. Secondly, it is important to praise the good performance of the workers immediately. Thirdly, it is important for managers to point out what they have done right in a specific manner. Fourthly, managers are required to tell workers on the contributions of their good performance to the organization. Fifthly, it is necessary for managers to stop for a minute of quiet to make workers feel the good feelings their managers have felt. And then the encouragement for workers to continue their good performances in the future is also important.

The last principle defined by Blanchard and Johnson (1983) for managers is the one minute reprimand. For example, when there is some wrong performance of the employees such as failure to meet the agreed goals or performing some wrong practices, it is important for managers to reprimand them. In this principle, three points are emphasized by Blanchard and Johnson (1983). At first, it is important for managers to reprimand the wrong or bad performance of employee immediately to make employees understand the negative consequences due to their negative actions. Secondly, instead of making employees feeling they are bad, managers are required to only try to point out the wrong performance carried out by employees which are required to be corrected. Thirdly, again, let a moment of quiet for employees to feel and understand the necessity to correct their mistakes.

Company examples and estimation

Example of Akzo

In the above analysis, we find out the problems in Akzo are the pension deficit of $ 3 billion, high operation cost in costing and chemicals and the failure of the approval getting from its new antidepressant medicine named Japirone (Urquhart 2006 ).

And in one minute manager, its three important issues including goal setting, praising and reprimanding, are effective and may generate positive outcomes if the organization is well built up and maintained, in which the relationship of employees and their bosses are concordant and the perception of affiliation are friendly (Blanchard & Johnson 1983) . Nevertheless, in Akzo, before Wijers has gone up onto the platform, the relationship between management and working people arent so peaceful due to the unsatisfactory pension scheme, financial performance and other aspects (Urquhart 2006 ). Generally speaking, we may make the conclusion that the one minute manager may not be the good option for Akzo. On the one hand, one minute manager is based on the relative good relationship in the organization to produce high quality goal setting to meet both the organizational and individual developing requirement in the organization, which doesnt meet the situation in Akzo where the relationship and tacit agreement is incompatible (Urquhart 2006 ). Under this circumstance, positive results generated by goal setting process in Akzo according to one minute manager will be discounted and even cause negative results. Just from this point, we may estimate one minute manager isnt with great value for Akzo in 2012.

Example of New Oriental & Technology Group

The problems confronted by New Oriental & Technology Group are high training costs, low competitiveness of employees and working passion (Yu 2008), for which one minute manager may only contribute to insufficient outcomes compared to theories X, Y, Z. the key issues in one minute managers are goal setting, praising and reprimand, which shows low level of concern on improving relationship and lowing costs. However, it may not be sufficient enough to solve and remove New Oriental & Technology Group’s headache (Blanchard & Johnson 1983).

On the one hand, the praising and reprimand mentioned in one minute manager may work when employees and their bosses have a high introspection level to open their mind to accept praise and reprimand (Blanchard & Johnson 1983). In New Oriental & Technology Group as a Chinese organization, the quality of both managers and ordinary workers may not achieve this height. In China, most people still work hard just for their livings which is the same situation of people working in New Oriental & Technology Group (Jayaraman 2009 vs. Yu, M.H. 2008). On this occasion, the attitudes of people working in New Oriental & Technology Group to accept praise and reprimand may not be so frank and calm.

On the other hand, in China, people take care of their face namely the dignity at a high level which even cant be understood by people from the western countries. The direct praising as one minute manager mentioned may be accepted by employees in New Oriental & Technology Group gladly and motivate their working passion (Chen 2004). However the direct reprimand in front of employees may arouse their hatred and resistance even giving rise to negative outcomes against the goodwill from one minute manager (Chen 2004). If this happens, the relationship building may fail in New Oriental & Technology Group, let alone gaining the doubled positive outcomes of training programs, which may also fail.

Generally speaking, one minute managers value is low for New Oriental & Technology Group too.

Company example of New Era Textile Garment Company

In New Era Textile Garment Company, problems are low productivity and working morale and high working pressure for employees which result in unhappy working environment and relationship (Seijts 2006). Referring to New Era Textile Garment Company’s situation, the primary mission for it is to mollify employees emotion and set up harmonious relationship again. And then, the management can have the consideration on other issues such as future development and performance (Kisner n.d.).

Under one minute managers instruction, goal setting, praising and reprimand are necessary for New Era Textile Garment Company to achieve the goal of perfect manager (Blanchard & Johnson 1983). In actual situation of New Era Textile Garment Company the first mission is to repair the relationship in its company and then it can follow the instruction of one minute manager. In other words, theories X, Y, Z which focus more on relationship building will be the first choice for New Era Textile Garment Company and then it’s the turn for one minute manager (Massie & Douglas 1992).

Generally speaking, compared to theories X, Y, Z, one minute manager isnt so valuable in 2012.

III Total Quality Management

Theory explanation

According to Cua, McKone and Schroeder (2001), the total quality management is the managerial approach towards a long term success under the assistance of customer satisfaction. In this view, under the effort of total quality management, all the members inside the organization are designed to take part in the processes such as improvement, production, services offering and the culture building in the environment in which they work.

Moreover, Chang, Chiu and Chen (2010) emphasized the core concept in implementation of the total quality management inside an organization which owns many important points aiming to assist organizations to improve their quality and productivity performance.

The first point is to build up a constant aim to increase the quality of products and services in the organization. The second point is to employ some new and suitable philosophy depending on the environmental requirements. The third point is to achieve high quality based on ceasing the inspection dependence. The fourth point is not only to terminate the practice on only adjustment of the price level for products or services as the manner of awarding business and performance but also to minimize the total expenditure and cost via cooperating with the single suppler. The fifth point is to improve the quality and effectiveness on planning process, production process and service offering in a long term value. The sixth point is to complete the creating of on the job training for employees. The seventh point is to complete the suitable leadership style in the condition of both internal and external environment. The eighth point is to remove the fear in working environment for employees. The ninth point is to remove barriers for staffs to communicate with each other or their direct bosses. The tenth point is to remove barriers to people to build up the workmanship pride and confidence. The eleventh point is to build up an effective program to train and develop employees to enhance their performance.

Company examples and estimation

Example of Akzo

According to Cua, McKone and Schroeder (2001), the total quality management is the managerial approach towards a long term success under the assistance of customer satisfaction. In this view, under the effort of total quality management, all the members inside the organization are designed to take part in the processes such as improvement, production, services offering and the culture building in the environment in which they work.

Lets take the close look at situation in Akzo, which is faced the the change of leadership style to mollify the emotion of both employees and shareholders in the organization (Urquhart 2006). For Akzo, if it adopts instructions from total quality management, it means there are so many focuses should be taken care of by Akzo both internal and external especially the customer side. The same as we mentioned above, the primary mission for Wijers, new CEO of Akzo is to regain the trust and confidence from employees and shareholders (Urquhart 2006), which doesnt put the focuses on suppliers or customers in the first place. Compared with theories X, Y, Z, the overall concern on quality for organizational management is recommended, while different organizations own their own conditions, total quality management isnt so suitable for Akzos situation.

On the one hand, the actual leadership style used by Wijers, when he becomes the leader of Akzo, is participative leadership style with a great concern on employees. This kind of leadership style is proved to be successful later to lead Akzo regain its previous prosperity later (Urquhart 2006). Under the support of the fact from Akzo, we find out the concerns on relationship building from theories X, Y, Z especially theory Z is the same as Wijers leadership practices in Akzo. On the other hand, total quality management may just rank behind theories X, Y, Z concerning with Akzos situation which has a high requirement on relationship repair.

Generally speaking, compared to the outcomes generated by theories X, Y, Z, total quality management may not generate the expected outcomes than theories X, Y, Z.

Example of New Oriental & Technology Group

Referring to the situation in New Oriental & Technology Group, we find out the problems including high training costs, low competitiveness of employees and working passion (Yu 2008), for which total quality management may only generate insufficient outcomes compared to theories X, Y, Z. The concern of total quality management may be too general and broad, which isnt so considerate and deliberate to concern with the issue which New Oriental & Technology Group is faced with such as training outcomes, relationships, working passions and so on (Yu 2008). Generally speaking, total quality management required New Oriental & Technology Group to consider its customers basis, total performance, supplier side rather than the inside only (Blanchard & Johnson 1983). But the real problems faced by New Oriental & Technology Group are mostly the inside problems at the present, which requires New Oriental & Technology Group to focus on its employees with suitable leadership styles such as participative style to communicate with employees more effectively and get a thorough understanding on their real needs on training and development and feed backs to improve the training outcomes. And then suitable leadership styles may also improve the relationships between management and employees to help managers get the real needs of employees much better and then make some suitable changes to make the working environment more welcomed by employees in New Oriental & Technology Group (Dunphy n.d). But for total quality management, the outcomes may be not so satisfactory and expected compared to theories X, Y, Z.

Generally speaking, total quality management may not with the greatest value for New Oriental & Technology Group to apply to compared to theories X, Y, Z.

Conclusion

With the above analysis, we have examined three companies examples including Akzo Company, New Oriental & Technology Group and New Era Textile Garment Company to compared the outcomes generated by theories X, Y, Z, one minute manager and total quality management on manage their current problems.

Compared the actual performances of each companies with the three management theories in the above, we finally get the conclusion that theories X, Y, Z especially theory Z with the greatest value in 2012 as management theory out of the three.

 

Reference

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