N-Pow


N-Pow

N-Pow (Need for Power) is a term that was popularized by renowned psychologist David McClelland in 1961. However, it should be recognized that McClellend's thinking was strongly influenced by the pioneering work of Henry Murray who first identified underlying psychological human needs and motivational processes (1938). It was Murray who set out a taxonomy of needs, including Achievement, Power and Affiliation - and placed these in the context of an integrated motivational model. In McClelland's book "The Achieving Society" N-Pow helps explain an individual's imperative to be in charge. According to his work there are two kinds of power, "social" and "personal".

People who exhibit N-Pow tendencies are thought to be most satisfied by seeing their environment move in a certain direction, due to their involvements. As an example of the need for personal power, most corporate leaders seek high level positions so as to control the direction in which their company is moving. As an example of social power, most people might agree that Nelson Mandela not only has socio/political Power, but uses this influence to bring to light social issues in order to further his desire for peace and equality on earth.

See also: N-Ach, N-Affil


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