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Douglas McGregor was a great boss. Wise, witty and insightful, he had extraordinary respect for his employees and believed that if they had the opportunity, they would be enthusiastic, responsible and ethical in the workplace. He believed this so strongly that he wrote this book in 1960 and forever changed management, whose predominant philosophy at that time was that people were inherently lazy, and would work only if you forced and punished them. McGregor was only 58 when he died in 1964, but his contributions to management theory and practice ensure his enduring legacy. In his introduction to this edition of McGregor's classic, commentator Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld points out that in 2004 and 2005 - nearly 50 years after it was published - business journalists and theorists still referred to McGregor's work repeatedly in print. Furthermore, you can apply his philosophy and principles to your everyday life and relationships. McGregor has a tendency to overwrite and, at times, he doubles back over territory that he's already covered. But these are quibbles. getAbstract believes this persuasive book will alter your views about management and your fellow workers. If you supervise others and you haven't yet read it - what are you waiting for?
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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2011
The original book, The Human Side of Enterprise, by Douglas McGregor, was written in 1960, and is still relevant today. It brought out the discussion on how best to treat the workforce to increase productivity. McGregor outlined two basic approaches, Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X was about assuming that your workforce did not want to work, and approaching them with a "carrot and stick". Theory Y assumes that people want to be fulfilled in their work, and that by addressing that need, people would naturally increase productivity.

This version of the book has been annotated with commentary by Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld. The introduction talks not only of the value of the original book, but how is applies to current and future challenges. Throughout the book there are useful annotations, indicating where research or literature written since the book has picked up on a particular point.

This is one of those books which I would recommend to anyone looking to study leadership or management, as a good, and very readable, grounding in the thinking about how to treat the human resource in the organisation.
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on 19 May 2014
Written before I was born (and I am in my late 40's) and still as fresh and (sadly) relevant today as it was then. It really is scary how uncommon common sense is in the world of management half a century later.

McGregor simply writes common sense in a very easy writing style yet I suspect most managers who will have seen his work quoted many times will have avoided because it is not a popular HBR CEO flick read. However as my title reads every manager has to read this book at some point in their career.

If you manage people; buy it, read it, apply it, enjoy the results!
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on 13 March 2010
The original Y theory of management expanding on Maslow's X theory - all employers should read this - there sre more recent updated theories ut this is the touchstone nand the annotations are useful too!
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on 3 July 2010
The Human side of enterprise is a forgotten landmark in the history of management-research and thinking, which is very surprising considering it clearly provides an explanation for the pitiful state we find within many organisations today. Maybe it's been ignored because it shines a clear light on the fallacious assumptions many organisational designers and developers have about human beings? Maybe it has been ignored because people in influential positions feel threatened by the perceived loss of power and control any change of assumption might bring?

Whatever the reason we are left feeling that the greatest waste in organisations today is the waste in human potential, and this, McGregor points out, is a result of the wrong-headed and unscientific assumptions management have about encouraging the best from people.

McGregor's system and research demonstrates clearly that systems designed to control people certainly provide control but we must ask, what type of control and at what cost? - the cost to productivity, innovation, enterprise, society and human fulfilment?

It is no mistake the book is called `The Human side of enterprise' and not - The Human side of THE enterprise. We are talking here about the enterprise of humans as a natural instinct, not the organisational enterprise which is an unnatural construct.

Traditional management systems are an invention to maintain control over power and resources in an effort to maintain compliance. This creates organisations where everything is forbidden unless permitted and limits the enterprise and potential of human beings.

Traditional organisations trying maintain control narrows focus and closes down possibilities hence the need for extrinsic rewards and punishments to make people do what they would not otherwise do. However, enabling the human side of enterprise opens possibilities by designing organisations around assumptions that people will respond to purpose, autonomy and intrinsic rewards because the ends and means are rewards in themselves.

This book has been wonderfully brought back into the sunshine and placed in the modern setting by Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Senior Research Scientist in MIT's Sloan School of Management.

Creating an enterprise where everything is permitted unless forbidden encourages human enterprise and creates healthier societies.
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on 23 March 2013
This is a frequently cited classic but tends to be a polemic rather than an evidence based treatise. It is quite interesting that the ideas in this book seem to have been forgotten with horrible consequences for our economic system.
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on 3 July 2015
Good book.
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