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The Need to Achieve

By | August 2010
Page 1 of 4
Hilary Brown
BA 352-001
Final Exam Essay

Over the years, behavioral scientists have observed that some people have an intense need to achieve; others, perhaps the majority, do not seem to be as concerned about achievement. McClelland’s research led him to believe that the need for achievement is a distinct human motive that can be distinguished from other needs. More important, the achievement motive can be isolated and assessed in any group. The need-for-achievement person is 'achievement-motivated' and therefore seeks achievement, attainment of realistic but challenging goals, and advancement in the job. There is a strong need for feedback as to achievement and progress, and a need for a sense of accomplishment. The need for authority and power person is 'authority-motivated'. This driver produces a need to be influential, effective and to make an impact. There is a strong need to lead and for their ideas to prevail. There is also motivation and need towards increasing personal status and prestige. The need for affiliation person is 'affiliation-motivated', and has a need for friendly relationships and is motivated towards interaction with other people. The affiliation driver produces motivation and need to be liked and held in popular regard. These people are team players.  McClelland said that most people possess and exhibit a combination of these characteristics. Some people exhibit a strong bias to a particular motivational need, and this motivational or needs 'mix' consequently affects their behavior and working/managing style. McClelland suggested that a strong need for affiliation 'affiliation-motivation' undermines a manager's objectivity, because of their need to be liked, and that this affects a manager's decision-making capability. A strong need for authority and power 'authority-motivation' will produce a determined work ethic and commitment to the organization, and while these people are attracted to the leadership role, they may...

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