The Importance of the Achievement Motive and the Power Motive for Explaining the Occupancy of a Management Position, Salary and Intrinsic Work Motivation

Mitja Ružojčić, Zvonimir Galić, Nataša Trojak


In this study, the focus of the research was shifted back to the two individual difference characteristics that were, before the appearance of the five-factor model, considered as key determinants of work and career outcomes next to intelligence: the achievement motive and the power motive. It was examined whether the two motives will predict three important work outcomes: occupancy of a management position, salary and intrinsic work motivation, over and above the five-factor model traits. The occupancy of a management position was operationalized as working at higher levels of organizational hierarchy and salary was operationalized as the amount of monthly net salary. Intrinsic work motivation was measured with a self-report questionnaire. The study was conducted on 160 employees of various Croatian work organizations and data was collected through an online survey. The correlational and regression analyses showed that the achievement motive and the power motive were important determinants of the work outcomes, explaining them better than the five-factor model traits. The achievement motive showed to be more important for intrinsic work motivation, whereas the power motive was more important for management position and salary. These findings show that individual difference characteristics which are more closely related to the work context, such as the achievement motive and the power motive, have considerable incremental validity and should be considered alongside the broad dimensions of the five-factor model in order to improve the prediction of work outcomes.


achievement motive; power motive; five-factor model of personality; management position; salary; intrinsic work motivation


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