This paper will explore several different research articles that discuss David McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory. It takes a look at why people do the things they do and the motivation behind it. Motivation is an important aspect in work life, social relationships and personal relationships. This paper will dig into how the Acquired Needs Theory plays a part and relates to motivation in the workplace.
David McClelland was an American psychologist best known for his Theory of Needs also known as the Acquired Needs Theory. He developed this theory in the 1940’s where he stated that an individual’s needs are acquired over time and shaped by different life experiences. This theory is also known as the Three Needs Theory because the different needs can be classified into either achievement, affiliation or power. People with a high need for achievement look to excel in different situations, people with a high need for affiliation need to feel accepted by others and people with a high need for power either want to direct others or expand the goals of an organization.
Numerous studies have been conducted on how the Acquired Needs Theory is relevant in different aspects of life; especially in the workplace. Understanding work motivation is key on improving productivity and maintaining a healthy work environment. The purpose of this literature review is to examine different sources of research on this study and break down each theory; achievement, affiliation and power and how it contributes to motivation in the workplace. The theories of motivation from McClelland presented in this paper focus on how each theory is applicable in the workplace.
In the workplace, managers are constantly seeking ways to increase employee performance and often looking at what motivates their employees. In an article titled What Motivates Employees by Carolyn Wiley, she suggests that “motivation is inferred from a systematic...