Affiliation is a term that was popularized by David McClelland and describes a person’s need to feel a sense of involvement and “belonging” within a social group, McClellend’s thinking was strongly influenced by the pioneering work of Henry Murray who first identified underlying psychological human needs and motivational processes (1938). It was Murray who set out a taxonomy of needs, including achievement, power and affiliation—and placed these in the context of an integrated motivational model. People with a high need for affiliation require warm interpersonal relationships and approval from those with whom they have regular contact. Having a strong bond with others make a person feel as if they are a part of something important that creates a powerful impact. People who place high emphasis on affiliation tend to be supportive team members, but may be less effective in leadership positions. A person who takes part in a group, whether it be a movement or project, create a push towards a sense of achievement and satisfaction for the individual and the whole.
Need for Affiliation
The need for affiliation is urge of a person to have interpersonal and social relationships with others or a particular set of people. They seek to work in groups by creating friendly and lasting relationships and has the urge to be liked by others. They tend to like collaborating with others to competing with them and usually avoids high risk situations and uncertainty
The individuals motivated by needs for affiliation prefer being part of a group. They like spending their time socializing and maintaining relationships and possess strong desire to be loved and accepted. These individuals stick to basics and play by the books without feeling a need to change things, primarily due to a fear of being rejected. People in this group tend to adhere to the norms of the culture in that workplace and typically do not change the norms of the workplace for fear of rejection. Collaboration is the way to work for them competition remains secondary. They are not risk seekers and are more cautious in their approach. These individuals work effectively in roles based on social interactions, for instance, client service and other customer interaction positions.