The Achievement motivation theory relates personal characteristics and background to a need for achievement and the associated competitive drive to meet standards of excellence.
Achievement Motivation Theory (AMT) explains the integral relationship between an individual’s characteristics and his/her need to achieve something in life. In doing so, it also takes into account the kind of competitive drive a person has to achieve set goals.
Achievement Motivation Theory Driving Factors
AMT was put forward and refined by a group of researchers Murray (1938), Lowel (1953), Atkinson, Clark and Mc Clelland (1961) over the years. According to this theory, an individual’s motivation to achieve something in life or the dire need to achieve a specific goal is governed by various internal factors such as willingness, determination, punctuality, personal drive along with numerous external factors (also known as environmental factors) such as pressures, expectations, targets, etc., set by relevant organizations, members of the family or the society.
A person’s need to achieve something and the reason behind his/her overall motivation to achieve a certain goal, according to the AMT, more often than not, comes from within and is strongly related to the individuals need for power and affiliation.
Importance Of Putting The Message Across
However, the theory also fondly explains that it is imperative for an organization to thoroughly understand the reason behind an individual’s motivation to achieve something and propagate the message to his/her colleagues in an attempt to inspire them as well. Passing along such inspirational messages to other employees becomes all the more important in organizations where the firm’s success is mostly dependent on certain departments working in crucial areas, such as the marketing or sales department.
Choosing Potential Employees Carefully
Taking the above factors into consideration, that can have a strong influence on a company’s success rate, it very important for a firm to thoroughly investigate the backgrounds of the potential employees before hiring them. In doing so, the HR department should pay enough attention towards the personal characteristics of an interviewee as well as the reasons behind his/her motivation or need for achievement.
Other Influential Factors
Apart from the factors mentioned above, there are various other factors that can potentially influence and interact with an individual’s achievement motivation.
For example, an Individual’s values (understanding the importance of achieving goals compared to personal relationships), educational background, cultural background, external support from the organization in the form of appraisals, promotions, appropriate awards and timely rewards, encouraging and celebrating accomplishments, recognizing success, providing constructive feedback and helping the employee evolve from within by providing proper support mechanism, are all equally important and play a vital role in achieving the required motivation.
Simply put, apart from looking for self-drive, an organization must evaluate and nurture an employ’s internal and external need for motivation to get the best out of them.
AMT also states that, no matter how many motivational schemes an organization may introduce, no matter how good the incentives are for achieving pre-determined goals; they can only play their part and contribute to the overall organizational success only and only if the individual is willing to stand up and grab them. Without the willingness and self-drive of an employee, great results are always hard to achieve.
At the same time, no matter how motivated the individual is in achieving organizational goals, lack of proper encouragement and motivation from the top management in the form of rewards, incentives, promotions, remuneration, etc., can always put the employ on a backfoot.
In conclusion, Achievement Motivation Theory states that “as an employee starts tasting success and moves up the ladder, he/she starts feeling that they have achieved something and this feeling is what keeps them fuelling to achieve even more.” However, in organizations where moving up the ladder is a bit hard pertaining to the limited vacancies, handing the employees with a variety of incentives and rewards will always help them keep motivated to achieve what is required on both organizational and personal fronts
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