The Impact of Achievement Motivation Training on Small Businesses

by David Miron, David McClelland



Entrepreneurial training for small businessmen, based on the theory of achievement motivation, was first tried out systematically in 1963 in an effort to improve the performance of Indian businessmen in Andhra Pradesh. In the first section of the article, authors summarize the financial and social impact of achievement motivation training upon small businesses in nine programs conducted in five countries in the period 1963-1974. Since that time, a number of other attempts have been made to provide achievement motivation training for small businessmen and to evaluate its effectiveness. On the other hand, the trained group outperformed controls on ten out of twelve of dimensions evaluated, including sales, fixed assets and working capital. Another problem in interpreting the effect of achievement motivation training has been the role that opportunity plays in enabling businessmen to succeed after training. The goal of the training was, in most cases, to prepare Africans to take over higher-level jobs in the European-managed companies for which they worked.

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