McClelland’s Need Theory of Motivation

D. C. McClelland discusses three types of needs:
i. The need for achievement;
ii. The need for power and
iii. The need of affiliation.

McClelland is of the opinion that a person with high need for achievement possesses certain characteristics which enable him to work better in some situations than in others.

Those characteristics of an achiever are as follows:
a. He prefers tasks in which he can take personal responsibility for the outcomes.
b. He sets moderate goals and takes calculated risks;
c. He wants precise feedback concerning his successes or failure
d. He prefers co-workers who are competent despite his personal feelings about them.

He also found that the drive for achieving varies in individuals according to their personality and cultural background. He classified managers as high achievers and low achievers and suggested that high achievers are more successful managers than low achievers. It is thus important to identify the personal characteristics of both high achievers and low achievers if the best is to be obtained out people.

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