Expectancy Theory
(Vroom)

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Expectancy Theory

What is Expectancy Theory? Description

The Expectancy Theory of Victor Vroom deals with motivation and management. Vroom's theory assumes that behavior is a result from conscious choices among alternatives. The purpose of the choices 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 individual factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities.


The expectancy theory says that individuals have different sets of goals and can be motivated if they have certain expectations.


Expectancy Theory expectations

  • 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 Expectancy Theory is based upon the following three beliefs.


Expectancy Theory beliefs

  1. Valence. Refers to the emotional orientations which people hold with respect to outcomes [rewards]. The depth of the want of an employee for extrinsic [money, promotion, free time, benefits] or intrinsic [satisfaction] rewards. Management must discover what employees appreciate.

  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 the employees need.

  3. Instrumentality. The perception of employees whether they will actually receive 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. In this way they create a motivational force, such that the employee will act in a way that brings pleasure and avoids pain. This force can be 'calculated' via a formula:


Expectancy Theory formula


Motivation = Valence x Expectancy(Instrumentality).


This formula can be used to indicate and predict things as: job satisfaction, occupational choice, the likelihood of staying in a job, and the effort that one might expend at work.


Special Interest Group - Expectancy Theory


Special Interest Group (488 members)


Forum - Expectancy Theory  

Discussions about Expectancy Theory.


  How Can You Motivate Knowledge Workers?
In the current 'knowledge era', the question what motivates knowledge workers, and, being a manager, how you should mot (...)
 
 
 
 
  What Motivates Employees? The Answer Depends (Partly) on their Generation
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  Working hard for a raise?
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  Motivation in Non-Profit Organizations
I'm having difficulties finding a theory to help me research motivation, and the importance of it, in a non-profit organ (...)
 
 
 
 
  What is the distinguishing ratio?
My problem with this theory is that there is no distinguishing ratio as to the level of performance that leads to a part (...)
 
 
 
 
Hot Is your Job Meaningful?
Finding a purpose in your job is important for millennials and in fact for everybody. Nevertheless, many people have a (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivating an Employee by Valence
According to Vroom, Valence refers to a preference for one outcome over another. It can be positive, neutral or negative (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivating an Employee by Expectancy
According to Vroom, Expectancy is the 'momentary belief concerning the likelihood that a particular act will be followed (...)
 
 
 
 
  Effort Leads to Performance
This is true in most cases, the more you put in the more you get out but there are times when this is not the case. If (...)
 
 
 
 
  Theory of Needs by Maslow versus Vroom's Expectancy Theory
Unlike the Theory of Needs by Maslow, Vroom's Expectancy Theory (ET) does NOT a priori assumes there are certain needs p (...)
 
 
 
 
  Misunderstandings About Motivation
Motivation is found to be hard by many people but I would like to put across that: 1. Motivation can be done even witho (...)
 
 
 
 
  Creative Chaos is Conducive to Motivation
When one considers motivation in business organizational terms and politics, the first thing that comes to mind is monet (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivation is Owned by the Individual
Motivation is a slippery slope. I believe Wlodkowski who says: one cannot directly motivate another since motivation is (...)
 
 
 
 
  Expectancy versus Needs?
There are many different ways to reach goals, but I believe that the NEEDS have more weight than the EXPECTANCY. So what (...)
 
 
 
 
  Satisfaction from Achieving Goals
Satisfaction will usually stem from achievement of goals. Naturally, any employee who believes that his needs have been (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivation Should be a Two-way Process
I think the motivation process between the manager and the employees is exchangeable, i.e. bosses should motivate their (...)
 
 
 
 
  Marrying Employee and Employer Goals and Expectations
This is the one theory that seeks to marry employee value proposition (goals and expectations) to the employer's (effect (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivation for Success
In my opinion, success comes from loving what you do. Is your current work your passion? When you study highly successfu (...)
 
 
 
 
  Problems with Expectancy Theory. Disadvantages
A problem with Expectancy Theory is that it breaks down if employee does not believe in the motivation or reward. Then o (...)
 
 
 
 
  What Precisely is Valence? Definition of Valence
Hi, for me it's hard to understand "valence"? It's not in my English dictionary. Can you give me some help? (...)
 
 
 
 
  Measuring Motivation:The PIAV Assessment
When it comes to looking at the individual there is no substitute (personal bias here) for the Personal Interests, Attit (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivating Workers: McGregor´s Example
I believe that success in motivating employees is well explained in McGregor´s example in which, to the question: "What (...)
 
 
 
 
  Applications of the Expectancy Theory
This is a very good summary of Expectancy Theory, but I 'd like to know the applications of it in budgeting and planning (...)
 
 
 
 
  Can Perpetual Demotivation Be Reversed?
Demotivation is like the decomposition process, once it has started, the tale-tale signs remains in spite of whatever vi (...)
 
 
 
 
  Motivating Disengaged Employees
What is the organization theory for handling "disengaged employees"? Can anyone advise? (...)
 
 
 
 
  Social and Organisational Psychology
I have difficulty in finding theories to help me on -(Social influence and group dynamic process and worker behaviour) (...)
 
 
 
 
  Significance of Expectancy Theory
Do you think the expectancy theory changed the way people were managed? Why? (...)
 
 
 
 
  Small Motivation Tips
I would be more interested in easy small things to get people motivated. Any ideas such as participating in some special (...)
 
 
 
 
  How to Align Vroom's Theory with Psychological Contract in Disengaged Employees?
Has anyone/organisation successfully achieved meaningful employee motivation applying the Vroom formula in appraisal sys (...)
 
 
 
 

Best Practices - Expectancy Theory

Here you find the most valuable discussions from the past.


  Controlling the Minds of Employees
I think there can be several way to achieve goals, however what's more important is to have control over the mind of the (...)
 
 
 
 
  Extended Version of the Expectancy Theory (Lambright)
Lambright (2010) addresses an important weakness of the expectancy theory: it makes no distinction between certainty and (...)
 
 
 
 
  Human Motivation Lies Within
A human can never be motivated. You can just push a bit and show a way. A person always needs to be self-motivated to pe (...)
 
 
 
 

Expert Tips - Expectancy Theory

Here you will find advices by experts.


 

4 Steps to Motivate your Employees...

Using Expectancy Theory in your Department / Group (...)
 
 
 

It's All About Perceptions!

Implementing Expectancy Theory (...)
 
 
 

Expectancy can be Unexpected!

On Experts and Surprises (...)
 
 
 

Relationships in Expectancy Theory

Understanding / Teaching Expectancy Theory (...)
 
 
 

The Effort -> Performance Relationship

Coaching, mentoring (...)
 
 
 

Reasons Why People are Doing Voluntary Work

Expectancy Theory, Corporate Social Responsibility, Stakeholder Perspective, Volunteers (...)
 
 
 

Family-Work Conflicts (FWC) and Daily Job Performance

Family-work conflicts, Coaching, Mentoring, Job Performance (...)
 
 
 

Differences in Organizational Commitment Between Paid Workers and Volunteers

Organizational Commitment, Employee Motivation, Non-profit Organizations (...)
 
 

Resources - Expectancy Theory

Here you find powerpoint presentations, micro-learning videos and further information sources.


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Overview of Content and Process Motivation Theories

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Reasons and Secrets of Employee Retention

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Work-Family Conflicts and Work-Life Policies

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Introduction and Summary of the Expectancy Theory of Motivation

Initial Understanding of the Expectancy Theory, Trainings, Workshops (...)
 

Forecasting motivation

Calculating motivation (...)
 

Expectancy Theory Diagram

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Performance Measurement, Expectancy and Agency Theory

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Compare with the Expectancy Theory on Motivation with:  Hierarchy of Needs  |  Servant-Leadership  |  Theory of Needs  |  Hawthorne Effect  |  Competing Values Framework  |  Attribution Theory  |  Framing  |  Two Factor Theory Herzberg   |  Theory X Theory Y  |  Managerial Grid  |  ERG Theory  |  Leadership Continuum  |  Path-Goal Theory  |  Leadership Styles  |  Situational Leadership  |  EPIC ADVISERS  |  Coaching  |  Mentoring


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