Motivation and personality variables associated with effective managers categorized by sex and type of industry

Sara F Murray, Marquette University


Researchers have found that motivation and personality characteristics strongly influence behaviors and performance in the work environment (Cattell, 1970; McClelland, 1987; Stahl, 1986). Specifically, the Trichotomy of Needs motivation theory, developed by David McClelland (1987), and the 16 Personality Factor profile, developed by Raymand Cattell (1946), have been applied to predict effective performance in management personnel (Chusmir, 1985; Stahl, 1986; Winter, 1973). While research has been conducted on these characteristics in managers, in general, differences based on gender and type of organization within which managers work have not been fully explored. Moreover, little was known about the correlations between motivation and personality characteristics in this population. The purpose of this study was to investigate the motivation and personality characteristics of effective managers categorized by gender and the type of organization in which they work. A group of 70 managers, male and female, working in for-profit and non-profit organizations responded to two instruments: a survey on their needs for achievement (nAch), power (nPow), and affiliation (nAff), and a questionnaire regarding several personality traits such as empathy and leadership. The subjects responses to these surveys were analyzed to identify variance between groups. In addition, an analysis was conducted to determine correlation coefficients of the motivation characteristics and personality traits. The results of this study revealed significant differences in nPow, nAff, and empathy based on type of organization. However, no significant differences were found between groups in motivation and personality characteristics based on gender. Significant correlations were found between the motivation characteristics and particular personality traits.

Recommended Citation

Murray, Sara F, "Motivation and personality variables associated with effective managers categorized by sex and type of industry" (1993). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9411504.