By: Jasmina Talic, Jared Gereke, Allison Bell, Brendan Davies Motivation is defined as “the set of forces, internal and external that initiate work-related behaviour and determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration.” McClelland’s theory of learned needs is composed of 3 high order needs that are, The Need for Achievement, Need for Power, and Need for Affiliation , all have different implications on an individual’s behaviour and actions, and the need which dominates in any one individual, will be the motivating factor behind all their decisions. Based on the movie “The Insider”, we will look at how these needs affect an individual’s processing of mental ideas, affecting the performance of an individual in all day-to-day situations. We will also look at how these needs contribute to the decisive factors in making the final decisions that affect them, their careers, and their individual situations. We have looked at how each need contributes in a different way to how a person responds and reacts to the environment around them in order to fulfill their personal initiatives for individual success. The three needs explored are learned characteristics that people posses, and vary in intensities depending on the experiences that an individual goes through in their life. It is important to understand what needs motivate different people so that there is a greater efficiency of resources and less employee turnover. Being able to distinguish between a person’s need for power - a concern for influencing people, or achievements- a concern for challenging goals and overcoming difficulties, or affiliation- a concern for intimate relationships, will make it easier to delegate tasks, set reasonable and accomplishable goals, reward performance and overall, motivate workers more efficiently. Depending on the industry and the competition, different organizations will have very different goals and mission statements that attract a diverse group of potential employees. Understanding that one need may be more important than the other in a particular industry is very important to create a competitive advantage and ultimately, a profit. It is for these reasons that an organization should not undermine the importance of motivation and the 3 needs that stem from it. Understanding their importance and role in an organization will create a more productive and profitable organization. Definition- the need for achievement – the drive to excel and improve standards and past performance; the need for power – the desire to influence and control others; and the need for affiliation – the desire to be accepted and liked by others (Dictionary of Human Resource Management, p. 232). The theory suggests that these secondary human needs are not hierarchical, are learned and vary based on an individual’s personality (Sniderman, Bulmash, Nelson, & Quick, 2007). This paper looks at the needs theory, and aims to further understand the characteristics of each need and how it affects the motivation of individuals. “Those high in need for affiliation appear to be predisposed to be sympathetic and accommodating towards others (Schmidt and Freize, 1997). Sniderman, Bulmash, Nelson and Quick (2007). The need for achievement is the “desire to do something better or more effectively than it has been done before” (McClelland and Burnham, 1976). High power is also seen as associated with stress, and high levels of power motivation can bring the risk of derailment, when power is exercised aggressively or in pursuit of exclusive self-interest (Blackwell Encyclopedic Dictionary of Organizational Behaviour, 2005). According to McClelland and Burnham (1976), the need to achieve leads people to behave in ways that do not necessarily produce good management (personal improvement and doing things themselves.) The successful manager should influence others’ success more than achieve new goals him or herself or socialize with subordinates (McClelland and Burnham, 1976). A good manager is one who, helps employees feel strong and responsible, and rewards them properly for good performance. Sniderman, Bulmash, Nelson and Quick (2007) state that according to McClelland, a high need for power is a distinguishing characteristic of managers that were rated the ‘best’. YouTube - The Insider (1999) - Trailer “Don’t talk” scene is a meeting that takes place with Mr. Wigand and the CEO of Brown and Williamson. They discussed the issues of the confidentiality portion of the severance agreement. The company set the tone for the future and prove that they are serious about protecting their company’s interests and have delivered Mr. Wigand with a new expanded confidentiality agreement. In this case the need for power is a strong component. It made a difference in Mr. Wigand’s life because if he doesn’t sign he won’t get any more benefits or payoff and it will affect the quality of his life, since he isn’t employed any longer. The need for affiliation is lacking because he doesn’t have a good relationship with the CEO of the company and others. In this case, they are hostile to each other and he is threatened by what they say. The need for achievement is overcoming these difficulties. How will he get by and what will he need to do to arrive at that sate? In this scene, we can see his motivation level is nearly at rock bottom. It hit him pretty hard when he lost his job, but now he can lose even more. YouTube - The Insider - Pacino Speech In this case, Mr. Wigand wasn’t motivated by any of these needs. He lost everything and he had nothing to show for his loss. He was emotionally hurt and frustrated and the need for affiliation between him and the 60 Minutes crew exploded into pieces. There were no more close relationships with anyone. To him it felt that the whole world turned their backs on him. Again the need for achievement has failed because he didn’t overcome anything, and his goals failed. While observing the scene, we come to conclude that the motivation level had gone way down, and he wasn’t motivated by anything. There was no motivation for any need because he felt that he gave it his all and it just blew up in his face. This scene is where the show gets aired. We felt that the needs here were all met. The need for affiliation- his interview reached a lot of people, and he gained that warm, close relationship from most people. In this case the need for power had been the strongest one. With his story, he changed the outcome. He influenced others, and made a difference in many lives. Now everyone knew the secret behind the biggest tobacco company scandal in years. The need for achievement was also very strong, because he accomplished his goals and strived for excellence. He overcame everything that got in his way and achieved what he wanted to from the beginning. Mr. Wigand was more motivated by the need for power and achievement rather than the need for affiliation. To him it was more important to influence others, and make a difference, and overcome the barriers rather than maintain close relationships. Each need has a different way of affecting the motivation of an individual and is followed by specific consequences which affect a person’s decision making process. We have come to understand that a very strong need for power, achievement, or affiliation, can in fact blur an individual’s conscience and vision as they strive continuously to fulfill their ideal, and predetermined goals. We have realized that having such a dedicated need, such as the need for power, becomes a much directed motivational strength. Believing in something with a passion, and having the desire to pursue it, along with the continued motion of being an advocate for it, really shows an individual representation of a perceived vision. We have well-read that this theory and the needs inclusive of it are great elements for the motivation of a manager, and a strong member of society. However we also learned that they can be destructive once a certain level is reached. The motivational factors that are caused by having such a strong set of needs can be consequential, however the achievement, along with the emotional and personal gratification that an individual can realize by harnessing the power of these needs, is much greater.