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Motivation and Management

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2,000 management methods on a USB stick: 89


Expectancy Theory

Vroom

Summary of Expectancy Theory - Vroom. Abstract

Victor Vroom 1964

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.


The theory 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,
  • Favorable 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 worthwhile.

Vroom's theory is based upon the following three beliefs:

  1. Valence (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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 of Needs  |  Competing Values Framework  |  Framing  |  Herzberg Two Factor Theory  |  Theory X Theory Y  |  ERG Theory  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Path-Goal Theory  |  Leadership Styles

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