Need for Achievement

It has been argued that achievement motivation is the most prevalent theory of entrepreneurship (Johnson, 1990). The concept of Need for Achievement was originated by Henry Murray in 1938 . Murray measured nAch with the Thematic Apperception test, where a subject writes a short story about a picture. (Graham, 1994).

Later the theory was developed further by McClelland and according to him those who have high level of nAch exhibits a strong desire to assume personal responsibility, to set and meet moderately difficult goals, and to receive performance feedback. He believed that nAch was critical to economic development and proposed to provide developing countries with achievement training rather than financial assistance (Carney, 1995) .

McClelland’s work on need achievement found nAch to be a key factor in entrepreneurship. Moreover, McClelland concluded that the relationship between nAch and entrepreneurship meant that nAch was essential to economic development, and that any country that wished to accelerate economic progress should be interested in raising levels of need for achievement within its borders (McClelland, 1961).

The study of McClelland may not be conclusive because it is a fact that some are supporting but many also not supporting the relationship between nAch and entrepreneurship. Babb and Babb, (1992) conducted a study that support the argument of Mcclelland that need for achievement was one trait that differentiated founders and  no founders. An Indian study found achievement motivation to be one of seven important factors in the choice of an entrepreneurial career (Stimpson, Narayanan, & Shanthakumar, 1993) . Their studies indicate that achievement motivation is a valid predictor of entrepreneurial behavior.

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