THE ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION

David McClelland has developed an Achievement Motivation Theory. According to this theory an individual’s Need for achievement (n-Ach) refers to the need for personal accomplishment. It is the drive to excel, to strive for success and to achieve in relations to a set of standards. People with high achievement motive like to take calculated risks and want to win. They like to take personal responsibility for solving problems and want to know how well they are doing. High achievers are not motivated by money per se but instead employ money as a method of keeping sure of their achievements. Such people strive for personal achievement rather than the rewards of success. They want to do something better and more efficiently than it has been done before.

Need for achievement is simply the desire to do well not so much for the, sake of social recognition or prestige but for the sake of an inner feeling of personal of accomplishment. It is this need for achievement that motivates people to take risk. People with high need for achievement behave in an entrepreneurial way. Need for achievement stimulates the behaviour of a person to be an entrepreneur.

The following psychological factors contribute to entrepreneurial motivation :

1. Need for achievement through self-study, goal-setting and interpersonal, support.

2. Keen interest in situations involving moderate risk.

3. Desire for taking personal responsibility.

4. Concrete measures of task performance.

5. Anticipation of future possibilities.

6. Energetic or novel instrumental activity.

7. Organisational skills, etc.

Some societies produce a larger percentage of people with high need achievement. Entrepreneurship becomes the link between need achievement and economic growth. McClelland considers the need for achievement to be most critical to a nation’s econo1J1ic development. He held that a strong ‘inner-spirit’ in individuals to attain is a measurable variable arising from a need, which the individual develops mainly in childhood and seeks to satisfy throughout his life. This ‘inner spirit’ which he called need for achievement, if higher, would produce more energetic entrepreneurs capable of generating rapid economic development. High need for achievement or ambition motivates an entrepreneurs to take risks, work hard, find new things, save more, reinvest the savings in industry and so on. The limit d empirical evidence of Durand supports the hypothesis that need for achievement contributes to entrepreneurial success.

McClelland rated the achievement motivation of different countries on the basis of ideas related to need for achievement contained in the children’s stories. This has come to be known as n- factor rating. He established a correlation between n-factor rating and the prosperity of the countries a generation ahead. The criterion of n-factor rating was the inherent concern for achievement or the non-induced achievement motivation.

McClelland found that achievement motivation was lower among people of underdeveloped countries than among those of developed nations. Even in USA only about ten per cent of the people were actually high achievers. It is the low level of aspirations or ambitions that explains the lack of enterprise in underdeveloped countries. Ambition is the lever of all motives and aimless life is a goalless game. Ambitions motivate men, activate them, broaden their vision and make life meaningful. Ambition is an index of one’s resourcefulness. The ambition builds up an achievement pressure in the individual and provides the basis for McClelland’s n factor. Ambition is the lever of all motives. The initiative and intentions of an individual are directed by his ambitions. It is the ambition that electrifies man’s actions. Therefore, what matters is not merely the people but their aspirations and the means to achieve the goals. Therefore, it is the duty of leaders and teachers to build up ambition into the minds of young people. However, ambitions differ from greed and windfall. Greed results in disaster and windfall makes one a speculator.

Sometimes personal ambitions may come in the way of family aspirations or national aspirations. Unfulfilled ambitions are passed on to the next generation who may chase the goal with redoubled effort and vigour. Thus ambition nourishes-the achievement motivation and brings economic growth. The biggest obstacle to economic progress in countries like India is perhaps the limited ambition of people.

The initiative of an individual is directed by his ambitions which nourish the entrepreneurial spirit and bring about economic development. Hence what matters is not merely the people and their talents but their aspirations. However, ambitions differ among individuals on the basis of the environment in which they are born and brought up. J.K. Galbraith has also attributed the backwardness of man Asian and African countries to lack of ambition.

The Kakinada Experiment

Assuming need for achievement plays a vital role in promoting economic growth, Mcclelland has tried to induce achievement motivation in adult and provide them with an urge to improve their lot because uninduced achievement motivation results in long waiting before it bears fruit. Such an inducement may help break the barrier of “limited aspirations”. For this purpose, he conducted experiments with groups of businessmen in America, Mexico and Bombay. Later he carried out a full-fledged programme in the Kakinada city of Andhra Pradesh.

Kakinada is a well-developed distinct town of a population of around one lakh with high literacy and a modest industrial structure. The objective of the programme was to break the barrier of “limited aspirations” by inducing achievement motivation. The project which began in January 1964 consisted of recruiting batches of personnel drawn from business and industrial community of this town and putting them through orientation programme at the Small Industry Extension Training (SIET) institute, Hyderabad. Fifty-two persons grouped into three batches participated” in the programme. The training was designed primarily to stimulate the imagination and encourage introspection into personal motivation and community goals. The achievement development course contained four main items :

(i) The individuals strived to attain concrete and frequent feedback.

(ii) The participants sought models of achievement i.e. watched those who have performed well and tried to emulate.

(iii) The participants imagined themselves in need of success and challenge and set carefully planned and realistic work goals.

(iv) The trainees were asked to control daydreaming by thinking and talking to themselves-in positive terms.

After two years those who had taken the course except for one Mexican case performed better than comparable men who did not take the course. The former made more money, got promoted faster and expanded business faster. In order to assess need for achievement, McClelland used the Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT) which presents the subject with an ambiguous picture. The individual is asked to interest what he sees and what is happening in the picture. Achievement related themes are then counted and the final score represents the individual’s desire for high achievement.

About the results of the Kakinada experiment, McClelland concluded that those participating in the programme displayed a more active business behaviour (51 per cent as against 25 per cent in the control group) and worked longer hours.

Significantly he found that caste, traditional beliefs or western ways of life did not determine the mental makeup of a participant. The training as was given at Hyderabad is likely to improve those who have a great yearning to do something and have the opportunity to do so in their business framework.

The Kakinada experiment is being utilised in a number of experiment that have recently initiated technical personnel to set up new enterprise of their own.

In Gujarat, various State agencies have combined to operate an Entrepreneurship Development Programme to help young people acquire the motivation necessary to become risk-takers. The Gujarat programme has been successful in persuading many persons to set up new enterprises in the small scale sector. It was found that the follow-up “package” assistance offered by the State agencies in Gujarat has been particularly instrumental in helping the participants to decide on the enterprise they wish to start.

Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, the Small Scale Industrial Development Corporation Ltd. (APSSIDC) has been assisting technically qualified persons to become entrepreneurs through orientation programmes of the SIET Institute. This is followed by specific assistance of providing developed land specially earmarked for such persons at nominal rates in the technocrats industrial estates. Based on the experiences in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Industrial Development has recently formulated schemes of helping technical personnel to become entrepreneurs.

This programme consists of three months programme at selected centres spread all over the country, followed by financial assistance in terms of a subsidy on the interest on advances taken by the entrepreneur from the commercial banks so that the net interest paid by the entrepreneur himself does not exceed five percent.

The programme is designed to enable a young person to know the real problems of setting up an enterprise, and to work out the feasibility report of his own project. During this period, he is also provided with opportunities to visit industrial establishments in his field of specialisation. Careful screening of the participant is done by the Selection Committee with the State Director of Industries as its Chairman so that the programme, would result in a sizable number of new enterprises. It is expected thousands of young persons will be provided with such training in the years to come.

Making people achievement-oriented or inculcating in them need for achievement, is the objective of all such programmes. Thus, efforts are made through such programmes to spread ambition. Ambition is the mother of all motives. The intentions and the initiative of the man are directed by his ambitions. It is they ambition that electrifies man’s actions. The common saying aimless life is a goalless game emphasis the importance of ambition in life.

So, what matters most is not merely the men but their aspiration and what they do to reach their goal. It is the duty of the parents, the teachers and the leaders of the nation to instill ambition into the minds of the people. Naturally, ambitions differ from individual to individual on the basis of personal tastes and temperaments, and family to family and nation to nation depending upon the circumstances in which they are placed and the priorities which they have set for themselves. Sometimes, personal aspirations come in the way of family aspirations or national aspirations. Whoever it may be, aspirations do change with the changing times and values. For any man it may not be possible to cherish all his aspirations in his lifetime.

So also a nation may not be able to fulfil all her ambitions within a span of 100 or 200 years. But the ambitions or aspirations which are unfulfilled are passed on to the next generation who may chase the target with redoubled effort and vigour. So, ambition which nourishes the achievements motivation brings in economic growth, brings in development not merely in only one segment of the economy but it results in total growth.