In this theory, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can. They inherently dislike work. Because of this, workers need to be closely supervised and comprehensive systems of controls developed. A hierarchical structure is needed with narrow span of control at each level. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame.
In this theory management assumes employees may be ambitious, self-motivated, anxious to accept greater responsibility, and exercise self-control, self-direction, autonomy and empowerment. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties. It is also believed that if given the chance employees have the desire to be creative and forward thinking in the workplace. There is a chance for greater productivity by giving employees the freedom to perform at the best of their abilities without being bogged down by rules.
Theory Z is the name applied to the so-called "Japanese Management" style popularized during the Asian economic boom of the 1980s. In contrast to Theory X, which stated that workers inherently dislike and avoid work and must be driven to it, and to Theory Y, which stated that work is natural and can be a source of satisfaction when aimed at higher order human psychological needs, Theory Z focused on increasing employee loyalty to the company by providing a job for life with a strong focus on the well-being of the employee, both on and off the job. According to Dr. William Ouchi, its leading proponent, Theory Z management tends to promote stable employment, high productivity, and high employee morale and satisfaction.
Ironically, "Japanese Management" and Theory Z itself were based on Dr. W. Edwards Deming's famous "14 points". Deming, an American scholar whose management and motivation theories were rejected in the United States, went on to help lay the foundation of Japanese organizational development during their expansion in the world economy in the 1980s. Deming's theories are summarized in his two books, Out of the Crisis and The New Economics , in which he spells out his "System of Profound Knowledge". He was a frequent advisor to Japanese business and government leaders, and eventually became a revered counselor. Deming was awarded the Second Order of the Sacred Treasure by the former Emperor Hirohito, and American businesses ultimately tried unsuccessfully to use his "Japanese" approach to improve their competitive position