McClelland’s Theory of Need for Achievement (N-Ach), sometimes Three Needs Theory or Acquired Needs Theory is one of the theories focusing on human motivation. Need for Achievement theory was published in 1958 by an American psychologist David McClelland. Theory follows a previous work published by psychologist Henry Murray. It is based on the fact that the motivation as affected by three types of needs:
- Need for achievement (n-ach) - need to achieve something, people have the need to prove something, to overtake others, and they seek recognition
- Need for power (authority) (n-pow) - need for power, these people have a need to dominate, influence others and have power over them
- Need for affiliation (n-affil) - need to belong to somewhere, people have a need to be part of something or some social group and want to develop relationships and desire a friendship
Everyone has all three needs. It only depends on his internal priorities, which need prevails.
How we can use McClelland’s theory of need for achievement in practice?
Theory of Need for Achievement is used primarily in interpersonal negotiations and setting motivational factors of specific people. Everyone should know his own priorities and tendencies. A man who has need for power we can not to motivate with awesome team or work environment. He just need the power and authority. Within a job interview, it is important to properly identify candidates for the position and estimate its mix of needs.