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David McClelland

The Need for Achievement (N-Ach);

This is the need to achieve, excel and succeed. A person with this type of need, will set goals that are challenging but realistic. The goals have to be challenging so that the person can feel a sense of achievement. However the goals also have to be realistic as the person believes that when a goal is unrealistic, its achievement is dependant on chance rather than personal skill or contribution. This type of person prefers to work alone or with other high achievers. They do not need praise or recognition, achievement of the task is their reward.

A person with a “need for achievement” (N-Ach) needs regular job-related feedback so that they can review their progress and achievement. Feedback includes advancement in the person’s position in the organisation. Salary scale will also be viewed as measure of progress. The amount of salary is not about increasing wealth for a person with a high need for achievement. Instead this type of person is focusing on how their level of salary symbolises their progress and achievement.

McClelland believed that people with a strong need for achievement (N-Ach), make the best leaders for a variety of reasons including setting goals, reviewing progress and continuously looking at how things can be done better. However they may “expect too much” from their team as they believe that others have the same “need for achievement” which is often not the case.


Herzberg’s Motivators and Hygiene Factors

Herzberg’s collection of information revealed that intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction, whilst extrinsic factors created job dissatisfaction. In other words when people felt satisfied and happy at work the conditions present were directly affecting their inner feelings and self esteem. Yet dissatisfaction was created by the job environment people worked in and the interactions within that environment. Click on the following link for a detailed list of each of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors. (Herzberg)

This theory can be related to McClelland's three need theory. N-Arch people are interested in intrinsic job factors such as achievement, advancement and growth. Whilst extrinsic factors are important to N-Affil individuals, extrinsic factors such as personal life and relationship with supervisor, peers and subordinates.

McGregor’s XY Theory

It is believed that achievement-motivated people are more likely to apply theory X (authoritarian management style).This is because achieving the task is their main focus. Whilst N-Affil managers are likely to apply theory Y as people’s opinion of them is important to them. N-Pow managers are believed to apply theory X because they have a need for power; either to feel personal power or to progress organisational objectives.

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