Essay on David MccLelland (1425 Words)

Motivation to achieve is instigated when an individual knows that he is responsible for outcome of a venture when he anticipates the explicit knowledge of the output. That will define his success or failure and when there is some risk, some uncertainty about outcome of his effort.

The goal of achievement oriented activity is to succeed, to perform well in relation
to standard of excellence in comparison with others who are competitor. The topic is of practical importance in education and industry.

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Individuals differ in their strength of motive to achieve and various activities differ in the challenge they pose or opportunity they offer for -expression of this motive. Thus, both personality and environmental factors must be considered in accounting for strength of motivation.

It is related to traditional sociological interest in determinants of mobility and through MacLelland, study of its relationship to Entrepreneurial Activity. David G. MacLelland is one of the leading investigators in the field of social research.

A Professor of Psychology and Chairman of Department of Social Relation, Harvard University; MacLelland indicates that where motivation is weak it can be made stronger on the part of some individuals.

Money incentives will stimulate some to work harder but the individual who has strong desire to achieve as long as it is possible for him to achieve; McClelland has pointed out that such a person is interested in money rewards or profits primarily because of feedback they give him as to how well he is doing.

Money is not this incentive to effort but rather the measure of his success. He concludes that those who are more aggressive in procuring work possessed a great deal more of what he has termed the “need” to achieve or an ACH motive. A person with a high need to achieve tends to:

1. Seek and assume high degree of responsibility.

2. Take calculated risks.

3. Set challenging but realistic goals for themselves.

4. Develop comprehensive plans to help them attain their goals.

5. Seek and use concrete, measurable feedback of the results of their actions.

6. Seek out opportunities where their desires to achieve will not be thwarted.

MacLelland has acknowledged that environmental factors greatly influence achievement motivation. Recent research has indicated that the persons with high need to achieve of the person with high the ACH motive are attracted to those environments which offer the following

1. Personal responsibility for accomplishments;

2. Freedom to pursue goals by means of one’s own choosing;

3. Prompt and unbiased feedback of results of action;

4. Moderately risky situations;

5. Consistent rewards and recognition for job well done.

Many politicians and social workers, leaders of dissident groups, and others, imagine that improving the environment by increasing opportunities to make money will be sufficient to solve the economic problems of the poor.

Programmers are organized to help those who are in need. As McClelland has said: These programmers take for granted that it is enough to increase the opportunities available to the people in need of help, but this is not enough. It is necessary to move in and increase the aspirations for achievement that local leaders possess.

“His experiments confirm the feasibility of achievement For the purpose of the experiment an area of India was chosen. Work was done through small industries extension training located in Hyderabad. The purpose of the experiment was to find out whether it is possible of push a community into economic “take-off’ by training a number of its business leaders in achievement motivation.

Training methods included the setting up of specific goals by individuals with periodic evaluations of progress; having the individuals learn to think, talk act and perceive others like person who have achievement, motivation so that it coloured their thinking and mental life, modifying self image, developing new assumptions about what is feasible and important.

The result obtained were that two-third of the men had become unusually active in business in some observable way. Whereas only one-third of these men had been unusually active in the same ways two years prior to taking the course.

In other words, as compared to 2/3 of the men only 1/3 of these men were unusually active 2 years before the course. MacLelland thinks that under favourable conditions the drive to achieve can be improved in short intensive courses lasting 10 days to 2 weeks. Long terms expensive educational programmes that take months or years are not necessary for the purposes of achievement motivation.

Managerial Implications of Motivation:

MacLelland opines that the climate for achievement motivation is as high as NACH (need for achievement). If the organization does not provide proper opportunities for achievement, no amount of achievement motivation will cause a person to succeed. Strong achievement need is related to how well individuals were motivated to perform their work tasks.

He also found that the need for achievement could be strengthened to some extent through training. Thus managers might be able to improve their own motivation and performance, or that of their subordinates through use of appropriate techniques.

The need for achievement can be defined as a desire to excel or to succeed in competitive situations. In his research David MacLelland found that people with high need for achievement have several characteristics of interest to managers-

1. They like taking responsibility for solving problems.

2. They tend to set moderately difficult goals for themselves.

3. They place high importance on concrete feedback on slow well they are doing.

Thus, individuals with high achievement need tend to be highly motivated in challenging and competitive work situations. They are not motivated where the work situation is routine and not-competitive. Conversely, people with low achievement needs tend not to perform well in competitive or challenging work situations.

There are considerable evidences of relationship between high achievement needs and performance. MacLelland himself found that people who succeeded in competitive occupations were well above average in achievement motivation. Successful managers who presumably operated in one of the competitive of the entire environment, had high achievement needs than other professionals.

For managers, implication of there findings are two-fold. First, it is important to find an appropriate match between the individuals and the job. Employees who manifest high achievement need or who are found to have such need through a personality test would probably be considerably under-utilized and unmotivated working on routine and non-challenging tasks.

Employees with low achievement need, on the other hand, would probably not perform upto par in very challenging or competitive work situations. Second, managers to some extent raise the achievement need level of subordinates by creating a proper work environment permitting their subordinates a measure of independence, providing them with tasks that become more challenging, and praising and rewarding high performance

Like Atkinson’s Model, David C. MacLelland related behaviour and performance to three basic drives: (Need Theory)

1. Need for Power (N. Pow)

2. Need for affiliation (N. Aff) along with the need for achievement (N Ach) as has been explained earlier.

The persons who desire satisfaction from providing opportunities for others have been found to have high need for power (Now). N. Power is defined as a need to exercise influence over others. When it is exercised in constructive or supportive manner it is known as socialized power.

When it is misused or used to dominate others, it is known as personalized power. Successful managers tend to be high on socialized N Power. Another dimension to achievement motivation is known as need for affiliation (N. Aff). That is the need to acquire friends. It would be strong in people who wish to accept and. to be an important part of the work group. A close connection is being made between need dominance and expectations of persons.

MacLelland has shown in his research that relationship of motivation to expectancy varies in a form of a bell shaped curve as shown in the following figure, the degree of motivation and effort rises until the expectancy of success reaches 50 percent. That is until there are equal probabilities of success or failure in job or task.

Beyond that point since the goal is perceived as being achievable, no motivation is aroused. Before that point some employees tend to give up because of the difficulty of the task. There are mean as opposed to absolute tendencies.