What Is the Achievement Motivation Theory?

The achievement motivation theory is the theory that people are motivated to succeed by seeking out achievement. These people are encouraged by succeeding at difficult tasks. They are also motivated by looking for different methods of accomplishment.

Those who are motivated by achievement work hard and push themselves to the limit of their ability in order to improve their work and get tangible results. Achievement motivation is often contrasted with failure avoidance, in which the person is motivated to simply avoid failure. Failure avoidance motivated people do not put as much work into what they do and focus on passing rather than exceeding expectations. These people are more likely to take on simple tasks that they are more likely to succeed at, which is in stark contrast to achievement motivated people who seek out difficult tasks to finish.

Achievement motivated people find enjoyment in performing challenging tasks and see difficult tasks as opportunities to better themselves. These people believe in continuing to attempt something in order to succeed instead of giving up or moving to something else. They strive to improve their skills and see success as a personal responsibility. The focus is typically on individual success rather than group or company-wide success.