Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 317–327

Directional discrepancy between implicit and explicit power motives is related to well-being among managers

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11031-011-9219-8

Cite this article as:
Kazén, M. & Kuhl, J. Motiv Emot (2011) 35: 317. doi:10.1007/s11031-011-9219-8


This study investigates explicit –implicit motive discrepancies and their effect on well-being. Participants were 382 executive managers (107 females and 275 males). Female managers had higher explicit affiliation scores than males, whereas male managers had marginally significant higher explicit power scores than females. Males and females did not differ in their implicit motives. We expected a directional discrepancy on the power motive (explicit vs. implicit: “Striving for goals without gaining pleasure from doing so”) to predict impaired well-being. Results were consistent with this hypothesis, using polynomial regression analysis with response surface methods, instead of calculating motive difference scores. Discrepancies in the achievement and affiliation motives were not related to well-being. Results are discussed considering the specificity of motive discrepancies for selected groups, such as managers, and the importance of distinguishing between absolute versus directional motive discrepancy scores in motivation research.


Implicit motivesExplicit motivesDirectional motive discrepancyPower motivationManagersWell-beingPolynomial regression

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human Sciences, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany