What Is The Definition Of Achievement Motivation?…. Motivation is the inspiration for an individual’s actions. There are numerous types of motivation, and something different inspires everyone. Are you excited about setting achievable challenging goals? Is it easy to take a calculated risk if you know it will help you achieve your goals?…. Here in this article, we will discuss the definition and importance of Achievement Motivation in deep.

Do you thrive in an environment where you earn positive and negative feedback, knowing that both will help you advance and reach new heights?

These are critical components of motivation for some people. If you answered affirmatively to all these questions, you are most likely motivated by the need for achievement. Achievement Motivation is described as behaviours that are directed toward the development and demonstration of superior abilities.

Motivation Theory

Achievement Motivation is one of McClelland’s Achievement Motivation Theory’s three components. David McClelland, a social psychologist who specialized in workplace motivation, proposed this theory. His approach was to explain how various types of motivation influence people’s performance in a business environment.

The Achievement Motivation Theory Psychology establishes a link between personal attributes and background and a desire for achievement and the resulting competitive drive to achieve excellence.

The Achievement Motivation Theory (AMT) describes the intricate relationship between an individual’s personality and desire to accomplish something in life. Additionally, it considers the level of competitive drive an individual possesses to accomplish set goals.


General Definition of Achievement Motivation

Each person has three essential drivers: achievement needs affiliation or power. One motivator stands out as the most powerful, and it can describe what motivates an individual to pursue personal, academic, or professional goals.

The term “Achievement Motivation” refers to behaviours aimed at developing and demonstrating superior abilities. David McClelland 1961 contributed to “The Achieving Society” in. Also known as the theory of motivational needs and the theory of learning needs.

Factors that Drive Achievement Motivation Theory

Achievement Motivation Theory was proposed and refined over the years by a group of researchers, including Murray (1938), Lowel (1953), Atkinson, Clark, and Mc Clelland (1961).

As per this Achievement Motivation Theory, an individual’s personal motivation to accomplish something in life or the demanding need to achieve a specific target is determined by a variety of internal factors such as willingness, dedication, punctuality, and personal motivation, and also a variety of environmental factors like pressures, expectations, and targets, etc.

According to the Mc Clelland Achievement Motivation Theory, a person’s need to achieve something and the purpose for his or her overall motivation to achieve a specific goal comes from the inside and is highly related to the individual’s need for power and affiliation.

Additional Influencing Factors

Numerous additional factors are influencing and interact with an individual’s motivation for achievement.

For instance, an individual’s values, academic background, cultural differences, external support from the organization in the form of the appraisal process, promotional activities, appropriate recognitions, and promptly rewards, inspiring and celebrating accomplishments, appreciating success, providing constructive feedback, and assisting the employee in evolving from within through the provision of appropriate support mechanisms are all equally important.

Simply put, in addition to seeking self-motivation, an organization must analyze and nurture an employee’s internal and external motivational needs to get the best out of them.

Additionally, Achievement Motivation Theory states that regardless of how many motivational schemes an organisation implements, regardless of how effective the incentives are at achieving pre-determined goals, they can only contribute to the overall organizational success if the individual is willing to step up and obtain them. Without an employee’s willingness and self-drive, excellent results are always difficult to achieve.

At the same time, regardless of how committed an individual is to achieving organizational goals, a lack of appropriate encouragement and motivation from upper management in terms of rewards, incentive schemes, promotions, and remuneration, among other things, can always put the employer on the back foot.


Importance of Message Transmission

However, the theory also emphasizes how critical it is for an organization to thoroughly understand why an individual is motivated to accomplish something and communicate that message to their peers to inspire them.

Transferring such inspirational messages to many other employees becomes even more vital in organizations where success is highly dependent on certain divisions performing critical functions, such as marketing or sales.

Focusing On Identifying Potential Employees

Taking the factors mentioned earlier into consideration, which can have a significant impact on a business’s success rate; it is critical for a business to consider the backgrounds of prospective employees before hiring them carefully.

In doing so, the human resources department should pay close attention to the interviewee’s personality attributes and the reasons for his or her motivation or need for achievement.

achievement motivation


Need for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation – The Acquired Needs Theory

Acquired needs theory examines an individual’s needs and categorizes them into three motivating drivers: the need for achievement, the need for power, and affiliation.

According to McClelland’s theory, each individual’s needs are classified into three categories based on their individual preferences and experiences. David McClelland discusses how a person’s life experiences can modify the individual’s type of needs over time.

McClelland suggested that whatever our gender, culture or age, we have all three motivating drivers, one of whom will be our dominant motivating, driving force. This primary motivator depends significantly on our cultural values and life experiences.

Acquired needs theory, developed by David C. McClelland, is referred to as “human motivation theory” or “Motivational Needs Theory.” It is used to ascertain employee needs and develop a strategy for the organization’s motivating process. The Acquired Needs Theory divides needs into three categories.

  • Need for achievement (nAch).
  • Need for power (nPow).
  • Need for affiliation (nAfl).

1. Need for Achievement (nAch)

The drive to excel, to set the standards, is to desire to succeed. Achievement, power, and affiliation are the three needs that the theory focuses on.

Some people have a strong ambition to achieve their goals. They are more concerned with personal achievement than with the rewards associated with success. This refers to the Need for achievement (nAch).

High achievers, according to McClelland, distinguish themselves from others through their desire to do things better. Characteristics of individuals with a Need for Achievement (nAch):

1.They seek individual responsibility for resolving problems.
2.They desire prompt performance feedback to determine whether or not they are improving.
3.They are prepared to set moderately challenging tasks. High achievers are not gambling addicts; they dislike achieving success by chance.
4.When high achievers believe they have a 50/50 chance of succeeding, they perform best.
5.They enjoy setting goals that require them to stretch a little.

2. Need for Power (nPow)

The need to make others do something they would never have done otherwise. The following are the characteristics of the need for power (nPow):

1.Desire to make a difference, to be influential, and to exert power over others.
2.Individuals who are high in nPow enjoy the feeling of being “in charge.”
3.Make an effort to exert control over others.
4.Prefer to be placed in situations that are competitive and status-oriented.
5.Preference for prestige and gaining power over others over effective performance.

3. The Need of Affiliation (nAfl)

The need for comfortable and intimate interpersonal relationships. Need for affiliation (nAfl) has the following features:

1.Researchers have paid the least attention to this need.
2.Individuals who have a strong affiliation motive seek friendship.
3.Prefer cooperative over competitive situations.
4.Wishing relationships with a high level of mutual understanding.


Well-Supported Predictions

Based on a wide range of research, a reasonably supported prediction can be made interconnectivity between the need for achievement and job performance;

1.First, individuals with a solid determination to succeed prefer jobs that require individual responsibility, feedback, and a moderate level of risk. When these features arc takes precedence, high performers are strongly motivated.
2.Second, a solid determination to succeed does not continually transform into a good manager, particularly in large organizations. Individuals with a high achievement need are more concerned with their performance than influencing others to perform well.
3.Third, affiliation and power desires are frequently intrinsically tied to managerial success. The most effective managers have a high need for power but a low need for affiliation.
4.Finally, employees have been trained successfully to stimulate their need for achievement.

Trainers have successfully taught people to think about achievement, winning, and excellence and helping people learn how to work highly in circumstances where they have individual accountability, feedback, and moderate risks.

Competence Is Important to Success

Numerous athletes thrive in a competitive environment. Competitive individuals strive to be the best by comparing themselves to others to assess their skill level.

This behaviour is a motivation for achievement. It can be highly personalized and their circumstances. Motivation for achievement and competitiveness are strongly intertwined. The former is frequently motivated by social factors, which results in individuals being strongly affected by the latter.

Human beings have two fundamental social needs/motivations: the desire for achievement and affiliation. These requirements are influenced by experience but have biological origins. They are defined as behavioural tendencies that are relatively stable and persistent.

The Importance of Achievement and Affiliation

The desire for achievement, or motivation for achievement, is the driving force to overcome challenges and improve high standards. It is a persistent preferred choice in thought and behaviour for encounters with excellence.

In comparison, the desire for affiliation, or the motivation for affiliation, is the reason for seeking interpersonal relationships. It is a continuous preference in thought and behaviour for positive affective relationships of setting up, maintaining, and restoring.

The importance of achievement and affiliation in daily life arouses interest in determining the types of individuals who are more inclined toward each of these social motives. One could argue that the five-factor model of personality provides some of these answers.

Thus, individuals with a high level of extraversion and agreeableness and a low level of neuroticism can be more prone to the need for affiliation. People with high levels of perfectionism and openness to new experiences, on the other hand, are more likely to feel a need for an achievement scale.


Final Words

In summary, the Achievement Motivation Theory explains that “as an employee gains experience and progresses up the ladder, he or she develops a sense of accomplishment, which fuels their drive to improve even more.

However, in organizations where moving up the corporate ladder is difficult due to a lack of available positions, providing employees with various reward systems will always keep them motivated to achieve what is needed on both the organizational and personal levels.


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