Sex Differences In The Motivation Of Managers: A Look At Need Achievement, Need Affiliation, And Need Power

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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Management Psychology


The major purpose of this study was to find out if motivational factors, particularly need for Achievement, need for Affiliation, and need for Power differ for managerial men and women. In addition, the traditional male-oriented Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) was compared to a balanced-as-to-sex TAT in terms of its appropriateness as a motivation measuring device for women managers. Finally, the correlation of job satisfaction with need Achievement was examined for both sexes.The study was based on information gathered from a total of 124 male and female working managers taking post-graduate courses in MBA programs at the University of Miami and Barry College. Testing of motivation strength was accomplished using the same male-oriented TAT cues as McClelland (1961) on one group of female and one group of male managers. In addition, a balanced-sex TAT was used for two other groups of female and male managers. All groups were equal in size (n = 31). A questionnaire was used to gather demographic information and to measure subjects' job satisfaction levels. Separate 2-way ANOVAS were performed for each of the three dependent variables of n. Ach, n. Aff, and n. Pwr. In each case, the variance was analyzed in a 2 x 2 factorial design (sex by version of TAT). Estimates were given of the main effect for sex, main effect for TAT test type, and sex x TAT version interaction. Pearson product-moment correlations for the relationships between n. Ach and job satisfaction scores were computed.Women managers were found to have a higher n. Ach, a not significantly different n. Aff, and a higher n. Pwr compared to managerial men. The literature had indicated that women in the general population have a lower or equal n. Ach compared to men; a higher n. Aff, and a lower n. Pwr. Changing social values; the obstacles women face in first getting managerial jobs, and then having to overcome sex-role conflicts; all possibly channel a special breed of women into these positions.Many writers are convinced that females do not respond in the same way as males to TAT picture cues using male figures or depicting sex-inappropriate situations. These fears do not appear warranted for n. Ach or n. Pwr. The two motives can be measured equally well for both women and men managers using either the male-oriented or balanced-sex TAT version. The sets are interchangeable, and scores from one set to another are comparable. This was not confirmed for n. Aff. The two TATs may be interchangeable--although this conclusion remains clouded--but, they are not comparable. The women managers tend to score higher in n. Aff using the balanced-sex TAT than the male-oriented set.Although women managers' n. Ach levels were higher than the men's, and their job satisfaction levels were lower, the n. Ach-job satisfaction correlation was not significant, nor were the sex differences in correlation. Factors other than n. Ach were discussed as possible predictors of lower job satisfaction among women managers.


Business Administration, Management

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