Possibly the most influential book you've never read.

Based on a speech written in 1957, it was written by Douglas Mc Gregor, a professor at MIT's business school. In it, he detailed the prevailing common wisdom of business management, which he called "Theory X", a theory based on coercion, control, and a mass-based view of workers, which he contrasted with Theory Y, whose cornerstone is a faith in people as individuals, problemsolvers, and willing participants in the management process. Basing his findings on actual case studies and Maslow's theory of self-actualization, he made a persuasive case for viewing the corporate structure holographically, whereby each worker, whether line worker, administration, support services, management, or executive contains, in miniature, elements of the whole system.

As I detailed above, this book has had wide-ranging influence in every kind of enterprise, ranging from automotive assembly lines to the US Government -- ironically, among the first to adapt his humanistic, and quite countercultural-sounding notions was the Department of Defense under Robert Mc Namara, which makes it, I suppose, one of those books that "they" know about and you don't. It is almost impossible to point to any major firm in the modern IT or electronic industry today that does not utilize at least a few of his suggestions. I warmly recommend this book to anyone working right now -- whether you love your job, hate your job, or just wish it were better, it will change your outlook. And possibly your boss.

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