The needs for achievement, power, and affiliation are three primary types of motives or motivational drives that influence a broad spectrum of behavior, from how one interacts on an interpersonal level to one’s choice of and/or success in an occupation. These motives can be either implicit—that is, developed prior to the formation of language in the developing infant—or self-attributed, meaning they developed as a result of social and cultural influences. With an understanding of these sources of motivation, one can predict occupational performance and managerial success; design jobs and provide incentives most suited to an employee’s type of motivation; determine the contexts in which employees will be most successful; and design training programs to enhance employee performance.

Implicit motives indicate the generalized orientation of an individual’s ...

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