Models 1

PURPOSE: Expanding Effectiveness as Managers

Managerial beliefs are like the rudder of a ship – they organize managerial behaviors and steer them in the direction leaders/managers want to go. Being an effective manager or leader requires that we become aware of our own value and belief systems. Our personal system of beliefs, attitudes, assumptions, and theories constitutes the bedrock of our daily practices. Our behavioral practices are an outgrowth of our personal theories and assumptions about the basic nature of people at work. Based on this learned – and sometimes unconsciously referenced – belief system, we develop general guiding principles which result in the specific behaviors, practices, policies, and procedures which define our particular management “style” or approach. In this module, Douglas McGregor’s “Theory X” and “Theory Y” models of managerial beliefs are combined with Robert Rosenthal’s work on the self-fulfilling prophecy in the context of a classic study of employee involvement.

Using an actual database group exercise, which affords participant feedback on personal beliefs, coupled with subordinate feedback instruments, Module 1 provides an in-depth look at one’s personal belief system and how it impacts one’s leadership/managerial practices.

Comparing one’s personal feedback from the Harwood Dilemma with “real world” feedback from subordinates/co-workers (via the Reality Check Survey) acts as a vehicle for participants and subordinate/co-workers to meet together for personal critique, problem-solving, and action-planning – thereby creating more productive working relationships.

This module helps leaders/managers:

  • Realize their personal beliefs about people and work
  • Understand the impact these personal beliefs have in the workplace
  • Explore the benefits of change


Specific objectives for Module 1:

  1. To provide experience in working in a group with other people to arrive at a group decision reflecting various individual and personal inputs and to stimulate discussion about how personal assumptions, attitudes, and perceptions impact one’s approach to “managing;”
  2. To introduce McGregor’s “Theory X-Theory Y” model as a method for analyzing and understanding the attitudinal, belief-driven “why’s” and “how’s” of managerial or supervisory behavior;
  3. To introduce an actual classic study which showed, conclusively, that managerial beliefs significantly influence how managers attend to the “human” side of enterprise and, moreover, how Theory Y-driven beliefs lead to extremely effective and productive managerial action. (The classic article “Overcoming Resistance to Change” by Lester Coch & J.R.P. French, is considered the beginning of “participative” management and is the basis for the group case study)
  4. To provide personal feedback on the participant’s personal value system (assumptions and beliefs about people and work), which can be compared with “real world” feedback from co-workers concerning their perception of the participant’s value system and its day-to-day effect on their work;
  5. To provide linkage with the real world by using the data from #4 above as a vehicle for participants and co-workers to meet together for personal critique, problem-solving, and action planning for more productive working relationships.


Since this training module addresses a fundamental issue in managerial performance, it is appropriate for all levels of management and supervision.

It is also appropriate as a preparation experience for those who are contemplating moving into the managerial or supervisory ranks.

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