Unlocking Entrepreneurial Success: Insights from “Motivation of R&D Entrepreneurs: Determinants of Company Success

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Summary of the Book

“Motivation of R&D Entrepreneurs: Determinants of Company Success,” authored by Herbert A. Wainer and Irwin M. Rubin, explores the motivations behind technical entrepreneurs and how these motivations impact the success of their companies. Published in January 1967, the book focuses on the needs for achievement, power, and affiliation of eighteen technical entrepreneurs and how these needs correlate with their companies’ performance.

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Book Details

TitleMotivation of R & D Entrepreneurs: Determinants of Company Success
AuthorsHerbert A Wainer, Irwin M. Rubin
Publication Date1967
TopicsEntrepreneurship, Success in Business
Publisher[Cambridge, M.I.T.]
CollectionMIT Libraries, BLC, Americana
ContributorMIT Libraries
BibliographyLeaf [18]
Added Date2008-09-04 02:48:41
Associated NamesRubin, Irwin M., 1939-
Call Number000258390
CameraCanon 5D
External Identifierurn:oclc:record:1049686969 (WorldCat)
Foldout Count0
Ocr Convertedabbyy-to-hocr 1.1.37
Ocr Module Version0.0.21
Open Library EditionOL18081824M
Open Library WorkOL12316842W

Key Insights

Need for Achievement (n-ach)

Entrepreneurs with a high need for achievement tend to:

  • Set Moderate Goals and Manage Risks: They prefer moderate-risk tasks where they can innovate and achieve significant results. This approach ensures sustainable growth and continuous improvement.
  • Seek Concrete Feedback: High achievers rely on measurable outcomes such as profits and performance metrics to gauge their success. This feedback loop helps them adjust strategies and stay on track.

“Money, to them, was the measure of success. It gave them the concrete knowledge of the outcome of their efforts that their motivation demanded”​​.

Need for Power (n-pow)

The need for power influences leadership styles significantly:

  • Leadership Styles: The study identifies three primary leadership styles—authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire. Entrepreneurs with a moderate need for power often adopt a democratic leadership style, which balances authority with team involvement and results in better performance.
  • Effective Influence: Those with a moderate need for power use their influence to guide their teams effectively, fostering an environment where team members feel empowered and motivated.

“Moderate need for power seems to be indicative of a democratic style of leadership. In certain situations the most effective leadership style is democratic”​​.

Need for Affiliation (n-aff)

While the need for affiliation does not significantly impact company performance directly, it plays a role in:

  • Building Positive Relationships: Cultivating positive relationships within the team and with clients can enhance the overall work environment, indirectly boosting productivity and satisfaction.

Practical Applications

Innovation and Adaptation

Encourage a culture of innovation by setting achievable goals and providing regular feedback. Stay adaptable by continuously analyzing market trends and customer preferences.

Effective Leadership

Adopt a democratic leadership style to leverage the strengths of your team. Empower employees by involving them in decision-making processes and recognizing their contributions.

Relationship Building

Foster strong relationships with your team and customers. A positive, supportive work environment can enhance overall performance and customer loyalty.


“Motivation of R&D Entrepreneurs: Determinants of Company Success” by Herbert A Wainer provides valuable insights into the psychological drivers of entrepreneurial success. By understanding and applying these principles, leaders can enhance their approach to managing businesses, fostering innovation, and driving success in competitive markets. Balancing the needs for achievement and power is crucial in creating a thriving, dynamic organization.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on the findings of Herbert A. Wainer and Irwin M. Rubin. It is intended for educational purposes and should be tailored to fit the specific context and needs of individual businesses.

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