McClelland’s Achievement Motivation

By John Dudovskiy

Achievement Motivation

The theory of Achievement Motivation proposed by David McClelland (1965) envisages that individuals have three different types of needs – need for achievement, need for power, and need for affiliation, but there is a difference between people in terms of the extent of influence of each need on their behaviour.

It is important to note that “although workers may possess all these needs to some degree, each individual is most strongly motivated by one” (Lewis et al., 2011, p.150). Therefore, organisational managers are responsible to identify the nature of the need for each individual member of staff, and motivate them accordingly.



McClelland, D. (1965) “Toward a Theory of Motive Acquisition” American Psychologist

Category: HRM