Managerial and Technical Motivation: Assessing Needs for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation

Managerial and Technical Motivation: Assessing Needs for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation

Managerial and Technical Motivation: Assessing Needs for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation

Managerial and Technical Motivation: Assessing Needs for Achievement, Power, and Affiliation

Synopsis

One of the most widely accepted theories of motivation is a trichotomy of needs theory popularized by David C. McClelland of Harvard University. Many organizational behavior textbooks today discuss McClelland's need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power. The three needs have been found to possess predictive power in a wide variety of settings, particularly organizational ones. Impressed by the ability of the three needs to explain behavior, but aware of the measurement problems associated with the Thematic Apperception Test which is used to assess these needs, the author searched for an alternative measurement approach. This book reports on those design efforts, validation of the instrument, and use of the instrument in organizational settings.

Excerpt

Many intellectual debts associated with this book need to be acknowledged.

David McClelland, currently of Harvard University, has extensively described the theory concerning needs for achievement, affiliation, and power over time in such a way as to capture the fascination of countless researchers interested in motivation within organizational settings. This book could not have been written without his theoretical contributions. Indeed, this book starts with his theory and develops an innovative method to measure power, achievement, and affiliation. The research focuses on adults in organizational contexts, with particular emphasis on managers and technical professionals.

Joseph Steger, currently president of the University of Cincinnati, stimulated my thinking on managerial motivation when I conducted my doctoral studies under his direction at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the early 1970s. Steger's (1978) research on the identification of managerial talent indicated that need for power is one of the most potent characteristics discriminating between effective and noneffective managers.

Adrian Harrell, currently of the University of South Carolina, and I were colleagues at the Air Force Institute of Technology in the late 1970s. We jointly developed the instrument reported on in this book and jointly conducted some of the early validation studies (Chapters 2 and 3 of this book). He deserves a great deal of credit for the intellectual bridge between decision modeling and the study of motivation.

Some of the chapters in this book were coauthored and could not have been written without the assistance of the coauthors. Adrian Harrell coauthored Chapters 2 and 3. David Grigsby (Clemson University) coauthored Chapter 7. Anil Gulati (Clemson University) coauthored Chapters 7 and 9. William Hendrix (Clemson University) coauthored Chapters 9 and 10. Jay Coleman (Clemson University) coauthored Chapters 9 and 10, and analyzed most of the samples in this book. George Dostal of the Atlanta Falcons and Chet Zalesky of the University of South Carolina deserve a note of thanks for their help in collecting the data on football players for Chapter 12. David Christiansen of Police Consultants in Westmont, Illinois, helped per-

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