The Expectancy Theory (ET) of Victor Vroom
deals with motivation and management. Vroom's theory assumes that
behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose
it is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Together with Edward Lawler
and Lyman Porter, Vroom suggested that the relationship between people's
behavior at work and their goals was not as simple as was first
imagined by other scientists. Vroom realized that an employee's performance is based on
individuals factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities.
says that individuals have different sets of goals
and can be motivated if they believe that:
- There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance,
performance will result in a desirable reward,
- The reward
will satisfy an important need,
- The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort
Vroom's theory is based upon the
(Valence refers to the emotional orientations people hold with
respect to outcomes [rewards]. The depth of the want of an employee for extrinsic [money,
promotion, time-off, benefits] or intrinsic [satisfaction] rewards).
Management must discover what employees value.
Expectancy (Employees have different expectations and levels of
confidence about what they are capable of doing). Management must
discover what resources, training, or supervision employees need.
Instrumentality (The perception of employees whether they will
actually get what they desire even if it has been promised by a
manager). Management must ensure that promises of rewards are
fulfilled and that employees are aware of that.
Vroom suggests that an employee's beliefs about Expectancy,
Instrumentality, and Valence interact psychologically to create a
motivational force such that the employee acts in ways that bring
pleasure and avoid pain. This force can be 'calculated' via the
following formula: Motivation = Valance x Expectancy(Instrumentality).
This formula can be used to indicate and predict such things as job
satisfaction, one's occupational choice, the likelihood of staying in a
job, and the effort one might expend at work.
Compare with the Expectancy Theory on
Motivation with: Hierarchy
Competing Values Framework |
Framing | Herzberg Two
Factor Theory |
Theory X Theory Y | ERG Theory | Leadership
Path-Goal Theory |
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