Sunday, December 8, 2013

McClelland's Need Theory

In the last byte, we looked at ERG theory and understood what aspects of motivation it could explain. In today's blog we look at McClelland's Need Theory and attempt understanding it. While the first 3 theories of that we have discussed this far deal with the need as a basis of motivation. We now shift our attention to discuss about theories that focus on personality and learned needs.

McClelland identified three learned or acquired needs, which he called manifest needs. These are:
  1. Need for Achievement
  2. Need for Power
  3. Need for Affiliation
Some individuals have a high need for achievement, whereas others have a moderate or low need of achievement. Similarly one could think of the other two needs. Different needs dominate different people. A Manager may need a strong need of power a moderate need for achievement and a weak need for affiliation, this combination gives rise to a very different implication on the behavior of an individual.

 

We could define these needs as below:
Need for Achievement: Is a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns individuals’ issues of excellence, competition, challenging goals, persistence, and overcoming difficulties.
Need for Power: Is a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns an individual's need to make an impact on others, influence others, change people or events and make a difference in life
Need for Affiliation: Is a manifest (easily perceived) need that concerns an individual's need to establish and maintain warm, close, intimate relationships with other people.

We shall explore these to a greater depth in the next byte.

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