What is NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT? What does NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT men? NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT meaning

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Published at : 07 Dec 2020
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What is NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT? What does NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT men? NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT meaning - NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT definition - NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT explanation.

Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.

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Need for achievement (N-Ach) refers to an individual's desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of skills, control, or high standards. The term was first used by Henry Murray and associated with a range of actions. These include: "intense, prolonged and repeated efforts to accomplish something difficult. To work with singleness of purpose towards a high and distant goal. To have the determination to win". The concept of N-Ach was subsequently popularised by the psychologist David McClelland.

This personality trait is characterized by an enduring and consistent concern with setting and meeting high standards of achievement. This need is influenced by internal drive for action (intrinsic motivation), and the pressure exerted by the expectations of others (extrinsic motivation). Measured with the thematic apperception test (TAT), need for achievement motivates an individual to succeed in competition, and to excel in activities important to him or her.

Need for Achievement is related to the difficulty of tasks people choose to undertake. Those with low N-Ach may choose very easy tasks, in order to minimise risk of failure, or highly difficult tasks, such that a failure would not be embarrassing. Those with high N-Ach tend to choose moderately difficult tasks, feeling that they are challenging, but within reach.

People high in N-Ach are characterised by a tendency to seek challenges and a high degree of independence. Their most satisfying reward is the recognition of their achievements. Sources of high N-Ach include:

1. Parents who encouraged independence in childhood
2. Praise and rewards for success
3. Association of achievement with positive feelings
4. Association of achievement with one's own competence and effort, not luck
5. A desire to be effective or challenged
6. Intrapersonal Strength
7. Desirability
8. Feasibility
9. Goal Setting Abilities

In the work place organizations can find it hard to recognize those who are high in the N-Ach and those who are not. When people who need and require the necessary attention for their efforts to be recognized by someone who is in an influential position to them; if they do not receive the satisfaction or recognition, they may become dissatisfied and frustrated with their work or position. This can lead to a myriad of problems in job and self-resentment and disapproval.

This can be seen as a negative emotional reaction, however in turn, as we learned from David McClelland, the need for achievement will take its course in different ways. A person will either take small easy tasks that they know the can accomplish and be congratulated for, or they will accept extremely challenging tasks for they fear not risk of embarrassment in failure due to the high demand of the procured undertaking. It has been found that employees motivated by the need for achievement are typically more of the risk takers in the organization. They are also the employees that want to constantly be challenged to learn new things. These people tend to become very absorbed in their work. Hence why they require recognition when a task is completed.

So, If a risk taker becomes dissatisfied due to the lack or appreciation for their work, they teeter back and forth on the edge of a knife. On either side is an enormous plunge and it can go either way. The employee will either continue to work and take more risks and be creative and try harder to impress and gain recognition.....
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