Competitive Exams: Three-Needs Theory/Achievement-Motive Theory (1953)

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  1. Proposed by David McClelland
  2. It says, there are 3 needs that are major motives in work:
    1. Need for achievement (nAch) -drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, and to strive to succeed; it has been researched most extensively.
    2. Need for power (nPow) -to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise; best managers tend to be high in need for power and low in the need for affiliation.
    3. Need for affiliation (nAff) -desire for friendly & close interpersonal relationships
  3. People with high need for achievement strive for personal achievement rather than for trappings and rewards; have desire to do something more efficiently than it? s been done before; prefer jobs that offer personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems.
  4. All 3 motives are measured using a projective test (known as the Thematic Apperception Test or TAT) in which respondents react to a set of pictures. Each picture is shown to a subject who then writes a story based on the picture.