Acheivement Theory

Posted on June 12, 2009 by


Psychological and sociological theories explaining how individuals and groups behave, such as this theory, are listed as the tool of Organizational Theories in the fourth edition PMBOK®’s Develop Human Resource Plan process. David McClelland, an American psychologist, is the author of Achievement Theory. This theory postulates that humans are motivated by three general needs—achievement, affiliation, and power. Individuals vary in how strongly these three things motivate them. For example, one person may be highly motivated by power, and only slightly by achievement. Another person may be motivated by affiliation, but not as interested in achievement or power. To generalize these types of motivations, those who are high in achievement motivation are driven to excel in what they undertake. Individuals high in affiliation motivation strive for good relationships with others and they want to be accepted. People who are high in power need to have an influence on others. Also see the earlier posting of Develop Human Resource Plan Process (posted March 24, 2009).