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McClelland’s Theory for Managers

The theory proposed by the American psychologist David McClelland is a useful tool allowing managers to construct an appropriate work environment while considering the needs of employees at all levels. The principal application of the theory to this task is demonstrated by the development of varying reward strategies. According to McClelland, they should match the needs of the personnel to make their work efficient (Rybnicek et al., 2019). Therefore, managers can apply an individualized approach to this challenge and ensure people’s satisfaction with received benefits. In this way, the work environment will be considered as optimal.

Another intervention implied by the theory under consideration is the need to maintain employees’ work-life balance. This task can be performed by defining the motivation of these people in the workplace. Their involvement in the process will depend on the specificity of their job assignments, and this fact leads to the necessity to vary the number of work hours for each category of workers (Kukreja, 2017). From this perspective, the establishment of a clear balance between work and personal life will be best achieved with the provision of fewer hours of work to the lower-level employees. On the contrary, the managers will have more work since their motivation and tasks are more significant.

The additional methods that can motivate workers are considering all of them regarding their characteristics and efficiently addressing them. Hence, the personnel’s motivation can be increased with the help of the evaluation of the combination of people’s needs for achievement, power, and affiliation (Kukreja, 2017). In this way, the work of an organization will become more balanced, and the contributions of all team members will be appreciated.


Kukreja, S. (2017). McClelland’s theory of needs (power, achievement, and affiliation). Management Study HQ. Web.

Rybnicek, R., Bergner, S., & Gutschelhofer, A. (2019). How individual needs influence motivation effects: A neuroscientific study on McClelland’s need theory. Review of Managerial Science, 13(2), 443-482. Web.

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