College Essay Examples

Benchmark-Leadership Theories

Benchmark-Leadership Theories

Organizational success depends on a wide of aspects, with one of the common ones being motivation. An organization that motivates its employees is likely to experience higher productivity since they will often feel appreciated hence devoting all their energies to achieving organizational objectives (Koster, 2017). Since motivation is a significant aspect of organizational success, different theories have emerged to explain how motivation influences organizational and employee performance. This paper, therefore, seeks to expound on the differences between Theory X and Theory Y in relation to other contemporary theories such as self-determinism and cognitive evaluation. The car Industry will be used as an example in analyzing how these theories are used.

Comparative Analysis of Theories X and Y and the contemporary theories.

Douglas McGregor explained theory X and Theory Y in his book dubbed “The Human Side of Enterprise. According to MacGregor, these two theories are primarily based on different leaders’ behaviors towards their employees. Theory X tends to lean more on authoritarian leaders. As a result, most leaders under this theory assume that their team members have little motivation and dislike their jobs; as a result, this aspect negatively affects organizational performance (Lawter et al., 2017). On the other hand, Theory Y applies to participative or democratic leaders. As a result, these types of leaders have a positive attitude towards their leaders. Having positive attitudes towards employees is vital since it helps enhance job performance, thus leading to improved productivity in an organization (Lawter et al., 2017). From the outlined aspects, leaders who apply Theory X are authoritative hence making employees less motivated, while those applying theory Y are participative: an aspect that motivates employees to take part in the decision-making process, which contributes to organizational success.

Theory X and Y resulted in the emergence of contemporary theories in organizations, including self-determinism and cognitive evaluation. The self-determinism theory notes that every person has three inherent needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Thus this theory mainly focuses on the innate desires of employees (Gopalan et al., 2017). The Cognitive evaluation theory is a sub-theory of self-determinism, which helps explain the links between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. When an organization uses extrinsic rewards, it can contribute to a lack of enjoyment, leading to a dynamic change of rewards. As a result, self-determinism and cognitive evaluation affirm that although organizations use extrinsic motivation towards their employees, they do not offer the satisfaction needed (Gopalan et al., 2017).

Comparison of manufacturing approaches utilized by Henry Ford and Toyota.

Henry Ford and Toyota are assembly lines that use different approaches in running their organizations. However, the strategy utilized by Toyota has been applauded for its superior effectiveness. When analyzing Henry Ford’s production approach, it has many assembly lines that are unpredictable since they align their production expectations based on the new lines they need to open (Wilson, 2014). By using this approach, the company does not lay a foundation for growth since they apply the same solutions repeatedly.

On the other hand, Toyota uses a complex production system, although it efficiently meets organizational objectives.  Toyota’s approach encourages learning activities by ensuring that its members work as a team and depend on competent workers (Ohno & Bodek, 2019). By Toyota facilitating teamwork and lean thinking, it promotes innovation, thus leading to organizational success.

Most organizational primarily focus on the theoretical frameworks from which they have been founded. For instance, Toyota’s lean thinking approach lays a foundation for balancing the unique values held by the company. However, if the company failed to embrace this approach, its general working framework would be compromised. Subsequently, Toyota uses this approach since it encourages employee motivation.

Conclusively, most modern organizations apply the self-determinism and cognitive Evaluation theories in motivating their employees. They are widely used since they contribute to the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of employees. However, when an organization adopts a framework that does not encourage motivation, it will reduce job performance and productivity in an organization. As a result, organizations should uphold theoretical frameworks that motivate positive results in job performance and productivity.


Gopalan, V., Bakar, J. A. A., Zulkifli, A. N., Alwi, A., & Mat, R. C. (2017, October). A review of the motivation theories in learning. In AIP Conference Proceedings (Vol. 1891, No. 1, p. 020043). AIP Publishing LLC.

Koster, D. (2017). Motivation in the workplace.

Lawter, L., Kopelman, R. E., & Prottas, D. J. (2015). McGregor’s theory X/Y and job performance: A multilevel, multi-source analysis. Journal of Managerial Issues, 84-101.

Ohno, T., & Bodek, N. (2019). Toyota production system: beyond large-scale production. Productivity Press.

Wilson, J. M. (2014). Henry Ford vs. assembly line balancing. International Journal of Production Research, 52(3), 757–765


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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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