Motivational Needs as predictors of Decision Making Styles

Abstract

Human behaviour is attributed to the result of human needs. The decision making behaviour of executives may therefore be associated with their motivational needs. In this study, more than 500 Indian executives were surveyed to identify the significant predictive associations between their motivational needs (as predictors) and decision making styles (as criterion variables). Results reveal that needs like achievement, power, etc. significantly predict the executives’ decision making styles like rational, intuitive, dependent, etc. This fact can be used strategically for appropriate selections and placements in firms. The findings bear significant implications and scope for future research.

Introduction

Given the fact that individuals behave in a certain way due to a certain drive that is stimulated from a need, this study attempts to investigate whether decision making styles (DMS) or decision making behaviours of individuals can be predicted through their needs or not. It is assumed that allworking executives generally take decisions while disposing their duties and their decision making behaviours are driven by their need pattern. Indian executives are targeted for this study. The five important DMS namely Rational, Intuitive, Dependent, Avoidant and Spontaneous styles as conceptualized by Scott & Bruce (1995) have been the focus of this research. Scott & Bruce’s (1995) framework has so far been the most researched and widely accepted conceptual framework (for e.g. Loo, 2000, Spicer & Sadler-Smith, 2005, Salo & Allwood, 2011). It measures typology of the decision maker on the basis of information gathering, processing and evaluation dimensions (Tambe & Krishnan, 2000). The prime objective is to explore whether or not these five DMS are driven by the four important secondary motives – need for Achievement (nAch), need for Affiliation (nAff), need for Power (nPow) and need for Security (nSec) – of individuals. The aim here is to recommend some strategic implications focusing the impact of executives’ needs on their decision making behaviours.

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