David_McClelland_s_Acquired_Needs_Theory.docx - David McClelland\u2019s Acquired Needs Theory David McClelland\u2019s Acquired Needs Theory Lionel Chiam

David_McClelland_s_Acquired_Needs_Theory.docx - David...

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David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory 1 David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory Lionel Chiam Yishan B1500701 Department of Psychology HELP University PSY 111 Miss Sybella Ng Teo Shi Wei
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David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory 2 David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory McClelland (1987) introduced the Acquired Needs Theory, more often referred to as the Human Motivation Theory which attempts to explain how motivation affects a person's behaviour. Motive includes the needs, wants, desires and the inner-forces of a person that spurs him to behave in a specific way (Hersey & Blanchard, 1982). In McClelland's work, he sub-categorized his theory into the need for achievement (nAch), need for power (nPow) and need for affiliation (nAff). He suggested that each individual is motivated by all three needs regardless of age, sex and culture, but in differing degrees in each category. Achievement is the state of accomplishing something; an outcome of hard work, as defined in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary. Need for Achievement (nAch) was described as the aspiration to perform something difficult, secure a high standard of success and become adept in complex tasks (Daft, 2008). This description by Daft was similar to what was stated by Atkinson and McClelland. Atkinson and McClelland (1958) described nAch as the need to perform well or the endeavour for success as evidenced by tenacity and effort in the face of difficulties. This theory presumed that people with high nAch are motivated by attaining a goal. They tend to take calculated risks, that is, avoid both high-risk and low-risk tasks in their work with the vision to accomplish something. They have low-risk avoidance due to the ease of achieving as this is not seen as a genuine achievement to them. Likewise, high-risk tasks will also be avoided as it is surmised to be more related to luck than to personal effort as well as the chance of failure being significantly higher. Whether or not they accomplish a high-risk task does not give them a sense of achievement. As this type of people seek for accomplishments, they often like to work alone or with other high achievers. Additionally, frequent recognition by a mentor will boost the motivation of an achiever as they can monitor their own progress.
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David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory 3 McClelland (1961) sees need for power (nPow) as a concern with the means of influencing a person. Oxford's online dictionary defined power as the capability or ability to control or dominate other's behaviour. Textbook authors Lussier and Achua (2007; 2012) later defined nPow as the unconscious concern for influencing others and seek for positional authority. Daft (2008) defined the nPow as the eagerness to control or have domination,
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  • Fall '19
  • David McClelland

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