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What do you know about the expectancy theory of motivation?

A good motivation system is vital for success in any business. It encourages employees to work with particular practices and behaviors aimed at ensuring prosperity in a company.

I have recently heard about the expectancy theory of motivation from a fellow businessman. Getting information on this has been quite challenging since I am a busy person. Can anyone provide information on this theory?

I would like to learn about this matter to be able to understand the relationship between motivation and reward. In turn, this will help me manage my business efficiently.

Deborah Edwards

in Self Improvement

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Justin Parker on May 24, 2018

The expectancy motivation theory is a theory proposed by Victor H. Vroom. He is a business professor who works at the Yale School of Management. Simply, this theory suggests that you will take a particular course of action based on your expectation of what that action will result in.

Your decision is influenced by the desirability of the after-effect. The core of the expectancy theory looks at the cognitive process of how you deal with the various elements of motivation. This step comes before you make the final decision on how to behave. However, it is critical to note that the result is not the only determining element of how to behave when in a particular situation.

This theory focuses on the mental processes concerning choice. It describes the things you undergo to make a particular decision. As a business owner, this theory will help you to relate motivation and rewards to performance. This action will help you know whether the awards you plan to offer will be deserved or accepted by the recipients.

This theory will help you understand the factors that influence the performance of an employee. These include individual character traits such as skills, personality, abilities, and experience.

The expectancy theory shows that performance, effort, and motivation are connected in the motivation of an individual. To illustrate this, Vroom uses the following variables:

Expectancy is the belief that inflated attempt will result in a boost in performance. This variable is affected by:

  • Having access to the required resources, e.g., time and raw materials.
  • Possessing the appropriate skills for a job
  • Having a good support system to ensure the job is done, e.g., support from the supervisor or having the right information about the task.

Instrumentality is the assumption that whenever you perform well, the desired result will be achieved. Most motivation systems infuse this by showing the effect of a particular outcome. In essence, if an employee does excellent work, they are rewarded. This variable is influenced by:

  • Comprehending the link between and outcomes
  • Trust in the rewarding system
  • Transparency in the process of offering rewards to employees.

Valence is the significance that an employee puts on the expected result. To get a positive valence, the employee must favor achieving the aftereffect to not getting it. For instance, if an employee receives a lot of motivation from money, they will not appreciate being given breaks/ time off.

Roger Moorea year ago

Kindly note that the expectancy theory of motivation is based on perceptions. This fact implies that even if you provide everything required to motivate your employees, and this is favorable to most of your employees, still there will be an individual(s) in your organization that will find your efforts unfavorable.

On face value, this theory seems most appropriate for a conventional-attitude work setting where the motivation of employees relies on whether they are interested in the reward on offer, or whether they perceive that putting more effort into a task will get them the reward.

Nonetheless, the expectancy theory can be used in any setting where an individual undertakes a task because they expect a particular result. For instance, you can choose to recycle paper because you think it is vital to safeguard resources and commit yourself to environmental conservation.

This theory is about the connections individuals make with results. 


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