Strategic question in Indian banking sector: are Indian bank managers achievement oriented?

James Thomas Kunnanatt (Department of Business Administration, College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Publication date: 8 February 2008



David C. McClelland attributed India's slow economic development to the lack of people with the need for achievement (n‐ach). His argument is simple: if a nation develops a large number of people – especially managers, leaders and entrepreneurs – who are driven by motives to achieve, to build and develop things, then that resource (achievement‐oriented people) will generate economic development. India today is on a growth trajectory. It has a vast repertory of engineering, technical and managerial talents. But does the country have the so‐called achievement‐oriented managers to lead its enterprises to excel and compete in the emerging world order? This study is an inquiry into this phenomenon.


The study draws a national sample of managers working in the banking sector and attempts to measure the distribution of achievement among them. The linkage between the achievement orientation of managers and their performance effectiveness is also explored.


Though limited by the size of the sample, the study findings reveal that Indian managers possess achievement orientation in considerable degrees and that the highest performers among them are the ones possessing the highest levels of achievement orientation. Furthermore, the study provides insights into how the attribute of achievement orientation operates in the Indian managerial work environment.


The findings make it possible to prognosticate that a transformation has occurred in the social fabric of India, equipping the country to be psychologically and entrepreneurially resourceful with achievement‐oriented managers. Evidence on the distribution of an achievement orientation among Indian managers could be a vital input for strategic managers and top management planning for business expansion and diversification in India.



Kunnanatt, J. (2008), "Strategic question in Indian banking sector: are Indian bank managers achievement oriented?", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 169-186.

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