Motivation and Expectancy Theory Essays

Submitted By pselamy
Words: 865
Pages: 4

6/16/2013 Patrick Selamy

In order to achieve optimal productivity, it is important that workers are properly motivated. Motivating employees is often easier said than done. Many approaches have consistently proven to be useful across a wide range of industries and continue to be used today. In order to properly motivate employees, the mechanisms involved with respect to their decisionmaking logic must be carefully examined and thoroughly understood. Employees will often strive to meet or exceed an employer-prescribed standard in an effort to reap a potential reward. One theory, which has a goal to explain methods with which employers can effectively motivate their employees, is called the expectancy theory of motivation. The expectancy theory states that a person will act a certain way so as to achieve a desired result. Given various behaviors to choose from, a person is most likely to choose that which will result in the most desirable outcome. This theory was first theorized in in 1964 by Victor Vroom of the Yale School of Management. Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation is composed of the following three key elements:    Expectancy: Effort → Performance (E→P) Instrumentality: Performance → Outcome (P→O) Valence- V(R) (Expectancy theory, 2013,, 2013) The first key element of the expectancy theory that will be discussed is Expectancy. Expectancy is one’s belief that their effort (E) will allow them to reach a desired performance (P) goal. An individual’s perceived Expectancy is affected by such factors as “self-efficacy, goal difficulty, and control.” Self-efficacy is a person’s perception as to their ability to complete a task. Goal difficulty occurs when unattainable goals are set. Control is one's perceived control

over performance. In order for expectancy to be high, individuals must believe that they have some degree of control over the expected outcome.” (Expectancy theory, 2013) In this scenario, employees are experiencing various Expectancy levels. With the production goals that have been placed before them, some employees feel that “they cannot be successful with the new process because it requires more hand dexterity than they believe they are capable of.” It is important that attainable goals are given to employees as employees’ perception as to their ability to perform expected tasks has a significant impact on their overall productivity. It may be in this company’s best interest to conduct a feasibility analyses on this new production process. “Performance expectations that are made too difficult are most likely to lead to low expectancy perceptions” and this can be remedied by implementing a process that the employees are more capable of executing. (Expectancy theory, 2013) “Instrumentality is the belief that a person will receive a reward if the performance expectation is met. This reward may come in the form of a pay increase, promotion, recognition or sense of accomplishment. Instrumentality is low when the reward is the same for all performances given. When individuals believe they have some kind of control over how, when, and why rewards are distributed, Instrumentality tends to increase. Instrumentality is increased when formalized written policies associate rewards to performance.” (Expectancy theory, 2013)

Instrumentality is low in this scenario because the employees believe that “when a bonus is given for reaching production goals, the amount that in paychecks after all withholdings is so small that it is not worth the effort. Although some employees say that the newly-implemented process is difficult, others “who do not have difficulty with the process feel that it is not worth putting in extra effort to reach the production goals.” As a result,