The Behavioural Science Theory

  • This school is one of the advancements of the human relations school which believes the behaviour of the people who work in any organization is more influential than any other factors therefore more output could be achieved through utilizing behaviour changes and behaviour modification procedures.
  • They believe that improvement of behaviour is the best motivational factor in order to get maximum output from the employees.
  • Argyris, Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman, McGregor and Likert held the attitudinal improvement view which is very internal aspect of human beings contributes more than any other factors.
  • Argyris developed maturity-immaturity theory which contemplates the individual behaviour in an organization.
  • He assumed a descriptive and multidimensional growth process is taken place of an individual when the organization is also nurturing.
  • He sees that people in an organization grow from infancy to adulthood when the organization also develops.
  • Infant qualities of an individual end in short period when the qualities of maturity of the same person begin to grow.
  • According to Argyris basic changes that take place in the maturing process of people over the years.

i. Human beings have a tendency to develop from a state of being passive as an infant and lead to a state of being more positivist as an adult

ii. Human beings have a tendency of dependence from their infancy and they reach for independence when they become adult

iii. People begin with behaving in few ways from their infancy and they end up with behaving in many ways when they reach at the adulthood

iv. People possess with irresponsible behaviour, feelings, attitudes, and have little interests of performing tasks and later become more responsible, proactive, and lead for deepening interests when they reach at the adulthood

V. Human being starts with the short sighted view as an infant and turns into a farsighted person when he or she becomes an adult

vi. Person starts with in the work organizations having a tendency to develop from subordinate position as an individual member of family, society, or union as an infant and turns out to be a leader of directing human resources when he or she becomes an adult.

  • The above principles enumerated show the underpinning of Jean Piaget’s philosophy of genetic epistemology.
  • Piaget has worked out a model where six different stages of human development of knowledge.
  • For details, one can see Piaget’s literature.
  • Argyris’s theory helps managers to understand and identify the behaviour and qualities of human beings particularly human resources in an organization.
  • Herzberg’s‘ motivation-hygiene theory has a great influence for later theories of HRM.
  • Job satisfaction is the main theme of this theory and he has found that employees have both satisfying (motivators) and dissatisfying (de- motivators).
  • According Herzberg, the hygiene factors are the de-motivators. In his survey he found employees’ motivators are achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility and the advancements.
  • The hygiene factors (demotivators) are company policy, and administration, supervision, salary, status, interpersonal relations, work conditions and security.
  • Motivators are little introvert type of qualities while the demotivators are extrovert type.


  • LeeTM highlights motivators bring employees positive satisfactions which mean that employees tend dissatisfy if they find some shortfall of these motivators.
  • The other trend of this theory is that any increase of hygiene factors does not lead to job satisfaction.
  • The principal rationale behind this theory is that job satisfaction or motivation of employees is totally dependent on mental characteristics and needs and not the physical endowments like salary and other facilities.
  • This viewpoint was very instrumental for building later theories and HRM.


  • McGregor’s two-factor theory, theory X and theory Y is obviously a mirror which everybody’s behaviour could be identified.
  • It is an assumption about the human behaviour.
  • Theory X assumes that employee or employees at certain occasions feel attitudes and behaviours like, lazy to work, bear pale and negative attitudes, reactive, de-motivated, ill-treated, stubborn and harassed, ignored and not cared and respected hence the employees become a hindrance to organization and they are not creative and not innovative and these employees are a burden and they never substantially contribute to the organization.
  • Theory Y deduces that employee or employees feel attitudes and behaviours like happier and satisfied, interesting to work, positive, proactive, friendly, cared, equally and well treated, fully motivated, highly respected hence these employees are a valuable asset and they are very creative and innovative and bring new things to organization.
  • Understanding a man and his behaviour and feelings is so laborious hence McGregor’s two-factor theory was very helpful for identifying the needs and behaviour of human resources.


  • Truss et aF‘ specifying McGregor’s viewpoints indicate a relationship between McGregor and later theories like ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ views and elaborates that McGregor has used these terms earlier.
  • Walton’ describes McGregor’s Theory X indicates the ‘hard’ version means control, while Y stands for soft view which means mutual commitment.


  • Likert’s (1903-1972) view has a strong impact on HRM and its theories and he stressed the employees’ group behaviour, working as a group instead individual is working for, and keeping better relationship thus building manager-employee relationship in order to achieve high performances.
  • He coined a word ‘supportive relationship’ between two managers, two employees and among managers and among employees finally the supportive relationship is among all human resource in the organization.
  • Likert views were an impetus for the concept of teamwork in HRM and they helped for the development of later HRM theories like soft view and its qualities like high commitment, cohesive approach, teamwork, and high involvement and the ethical approach.
  • Likert developed an organizational development methodology using a four levels model of human resources.
  • He believes that human resource is the most valuable asset in the work organization and four levels have been devised on the basis of how managers treat and believe their employees.
  • Four levels are Exploitative- Autocratic, Benevolent-Autocratic, Consultative-Democratic, and Participative-Democratic. Likert system is interpreted as human resource approach.

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