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Critically Discuss Strengths and Weaknesses of McClelland's Acquired Needs Theory and Expectancy Theory

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Critically discuss strengths and weaknesses of McClelland’s acquired needs theory and Expectancy theory.

Motivation play an important role in today’s work environment as motivated employees are more productive employees. However, the ways how we motivate the employees have to be improved from time to time as employees are being more demanding and that they are more concern about their needs than before. Motivational strategies have probably affected the most by employee concerns and values (Greiner 1986, p. 82). �A motivational strategy is any effort to induce employees to initiate and sustain activities that can directly or indirectly improve service productivity’ (Greiner 1986, p. 82). Motivation can have an effect on the output of your business and concerns both quantity and quality. For example, if you are in a manufacturing company, your business actually relies heavily on your production staff to make sure that quality product are being produce and being delivered to your client at the right time. However, if your production employees are lack of motivation they will be not motivated to produce the amount of product demanded, thus will be very costly. In the essay below, we will be discussing on the strength and weaknesses of McClelland’s acquired needs theory and the expectancy theory.

McClelland proposed that an individual’s particular needs are obtained over time as a result of life experiences (Wood et al. p. 146). Most of these needs fall into three general categories of needs which can be class as need for achievement, affiliation or power. The strengths of the McClelland’s acquired needs theory is that it provides a clear picture for the organization and the managers to know which type of job are suitable for the employees and which types of people that can make the organizations more successful. According to the article, the authors stated that managers who have strong power of needs are more successful than those with lower power needs (Wagner & Swanson 1979, p. 66). �McClelland and Burnham identify two types of power managers: those who seek personal power and those who seek institutional power’ (Lyden 1976, p. 201). However, manager who seek for institutional power are more successful as they can create favorable condition at work. Wagner and Swanson (1979, p. 66) attributes the success of higher power needs people to their ability to create a greater sense of responsibility and team spirit in their organizations. This will give a clear picture for the organization on which of the employees that are suitable to be promoted and become a manager. Therefore, management should provide people with high need for power the opportunity to manage other. In addition, this will also give the manager a guideline on how to become a good manager because as stated manager who seek institutional power are more successful.

Apart from that, the strength of McClelland’s acquired need theory is that it provides an understanding for the managers on how to deal with different types of employees. As we all know, there are three general categories in the McClelland’s acquired need theory. The manager can actually put the employees to different types of work according to these categories. The authors stated that, people with high level of achievement are suitable to become salesperson as they prefer challenging task, whereas people with high need for affiliation are suitable to hold a position of customer service representative as they are good in maintaining interpersonal relationship and people with high need of power are suitable to hold formal supervisory position as they have influence over other people in the organization (Wood et al. p. 148). From here, human resource manager are able to benefit from this theory as during the interview with the employee, the manager can ask question on whether the employee like challenging task or whether the employees like to interact with the other people, and from the answer that they give the manager can determine which type of job is suitable for the employee.

Furthermore, a major problem with affiliative manager is that due to the concern of the well being of the subordinates, he is willing to make exceptions to the company’s rule in responding to his employees’ need in which this action violate one of the bureaucracy’s first principles, fairness (Lyden 1976, p. 201). However, this will be a weakness for the theory as manager should act accordingly and see what kind of situations are they in before making any decisions. The manager should not always look at fairness when judging because different situation require different types of decision. For example, two employees with different situation at the same time wanting to apply for leave, one saying

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