Management Style

In his book, The Human Side of Enterprise, published in the early 1960’s, Douglas McGregor presented two highly influential ways of viewing people’s motivation in the workplace, known as Theory X and Theory Y. This self scoring assessment consists of 30 questions describes in detail some of the assumptions that underpin McGregor’s X and Y theories, helping managers to determine their existing style. It also raises awareness about the implications of this in the way that they relate to and communicate with others in different circumstances.

Your scores from the Management Styles Questionnaire will have a direct impact upon how you perform in a number of different competency areas. Drawing upon McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, the Management Styles Questionnaire gives respondents a picture of how they prefer to look at things in the workplace, in particular attitudes toward and relationship with others.

This profile outlines assumptions about each theory, shows the behavior model and explains typical performance of each managerial style in four broad areas:

  • Administrative
  • Cognitive
  • Communication
  • Supervisory

Where Theory X assumes that people are lazy, lack ambition, dislike responsibility and prefer to be led, Theory Y assumes that people have an innate ‘need’ to work and want responsibilities and achievement. Managing Theory X and Theory Y perspectives then becomes very challenging, with an ‘ideal’ being a successful combination of the two.


The MSQ questionnaire consists of thirty questions. Read each statement, and select which of two options (Yes or No) would most likely apply to you in the workplace situations described. 


Drawing upon your past experience, please give an indication of how you think you would typically behave in the management or work situations described. Please ensure that you answer all the questions carefully, but without taking too long on each question; your first response will tend to be the best one. Try to answer the questions as candidly as possible; this will provide you with the greatest benefit. 

View the System Requirements for this assessment.

Management Styles
1. I typically am results-oriented, but encourage quiet times and moments for reflecting and planning.
Yes    No   
2. I typically ensure that employees have a stake in knowing the goals and standards, and believe that the tracking of performance toward them is a key source of motivation.
Yes    No   
3. I typically believe that management has the responsibiltity and experience to solve problems, and employees should only be involved in a limited way.
Yes    No   
4. I typically see communication as a two-way street; both parties are responsible for making sure that understanding is complete.
Yes    No   
5. I typically believe that training can and should be delivered by the Training Department, who are the experts.
Yes    No   
6. I typically take responsibility for planning and scheduling, as employees usually can’t be expected to know how to handle those tasks.
Yes    No   
7. I typically give regular feedback, both complimentary and corrective, so that both types are seen as normal and welcome. Such feedback is essential in shaping desired behaviors.
Yes    No   
8. I typically see breakdowns in communication as the other person’s fault rather than my own.
Yes    No   
9. I typically recognize that staff have many priorities and aren’t always available; achieving results is more important than putting in time.
Yes    No   
10. I typically assign tasks and activities quickly, often without an explanation of why.
Yes    No   
11. I typically avoid blaming employees, and prefer to view problems as opportunities for learning.
Yes    No   
12. I typically am activity-oriented, and want to see people keeping busy all of the time.
Yes    No   
13. I typically believe that planning and scheduling are part of any task or assignment, and are therefore the responsibility of everyone.
Yes    No   
14. I typically confirm and seek closure with a summary: "Let me see if I understand what you’ve been saying. You feel that…"
Yes    No   
15. I typically make most of the decisions, and expect employees to put these decisions into action.
Yes    No   
16. I typically avoid discipline in the hope that the problem will go away or get better on its own.
Yes    No   
17. I typically elicit opinions and viewpoints of others to get a broader perception of things.
Yes    No   
18. I typically use directive questions that tend to lead the respondent into saying what is expected (i.e. the reply is often guarded).
Yes    No   
19. I typically believe that the training and development of the team is too important to be delegated.
Yes    No   
20. I typically do not summarize or confirm understanding in conversations, and often assume that the message clarity is mainly the listener’s responsibility.
Yes    No   
21. I typically expect people to be available whenever they are needed; "putting in time" is of prime importance.
Yes    No   
22. I typically take time to weigh evidence, explore alternatives, test assumptions, and evaluate the soundness of the inputs and outputs.
Yes    No   
23. I typically encourage employees closest to the problem to solve it, and give training and coaching when necessary.
Yes    No   
24. I typically am better at listening for facts and content than for feelings and intent.
Yes    No   
25. I typically see the need to correct inappropriate behavior when it is first recognized, before it becomes habit and is harder to correct.
Yes    No   
26. I typically allow employees to make decisions, and work with employees in advance to work out the types of decisions each is responsible for.
Yes    No   
27. I typically tend to look for who or what is to blame first, before looking for a solution.
Yes    No   
28. I typically am unaware of any personal bias or alternative ways of viewing things.
Yes    No   
29. I typically give the speaker full attention and a "clean slate" (no prior listener bias or assumptions).
Yes    No   
30. I typically give only limited feedback to the people that I manage.
Yes    No   

Price for this assessment $24.95

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