Expectancy Theory of Motivation Research Paper

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Expectancy theory is a main theory for the explanation of how people are motivated. Victor H. Vroom, is one of the leaders that best explain the theory and holds that the main motivation behind reaching a goal for any individual, is a person seeing and experiencing the worth of the goal, believing and witnessing what they are doing will lead to achieving said goal. “people’s motivation towards doing anything will be determined by the value they place on the outcome of their effort, multiplied by the confidence they have that their efforts will materially aid in achieving a goal” (Koontz, Weihrich, & Weihrich, 2007, p. 293).

Essentially, the anticipated worth created the product (motivation) that can then be applied to certain tasks, to achieve an objective. Confidence plays a role in this. The equation Vroom used for this was Force = valence x expectancy. Force equals the degree of an individual’s motivation, valence is a person’s the degree of preference of an outcome, and expectancy is the likelihood that a specific process will lead to a desired result. Indifference towards a goal lead to zero valence. No desire to achieve the goal leads to negative valence and so forth.

A good example of this is learning a second language. If the person has taken previous classes of that language and has some rudimentary understanding, there is more confidence the person will learn the language, ending with the positive result of learning the language. Add to that if the person has had previous success learning another language, this will further increase motivation. However, if the person has had no prior experience with any other language, and is using a tool that seems ineffective, the motivation for learning the language will decrease and the end result could be no learning the other language.

Stuck Writing Your "Expectancy Theory of Motivation" Research Paper?

Research surrounding expectancy theory reveals that the work environment can play a role in how motivated employees are.

Employees around the world are motivated to work and perform effectively based on the kind of positive rewards they expect to earn as a result of their performance. The three factors of the theory are associated and viewed from the perspective of various work-related components such as working environment, amenities and resources (Malini & Washington, 2014, p. 45).

If employees have a good rewards program or they are met with great incentives like fair pay and vacation hours, they may be more motivated to produce more, be more productive, and pursue a high standard while attempting to achieve the goals of an organization. When employees are met with no real benefits and unreliable or unstable work environment or work hours, employees may be less likely to perform to at a high standard or even follow the rules and regulations of the organization.

Another article mentions performance-enhancing compensation practices that help increase employee productivity via better accountability. Although it may increase worker motivation, it may also spark unintended, negative consequences. “While productivity increases may occur, these practices can also stimulate an unintended consequence: workplace bullying” (Samnani & Singh, 2014, p. 5). The researchers rely on examination of expectancy theory and how putting in specific practices such as increased accountability can promote lack of confidence and a lack of belief in positive outcomes. The ‘bullying’ can lead to a negative outcome thanks to the negative feelings produced by the interactions between employees and management.

The article highlights the need to assess efficacy of performance-enhancing compensation practices to avoid….....

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Ciby, M., & Raya, R. P. (2014). Exploring Victims' Experiences of Workplace Bullying: A Grounded Theory Approach. Vikalpa, 39(2), 69-82. doi:10.1177/0256090920140208

Koontz, H., Weihrich, H., & Weihrich, H. (2007). Essentials of management: An international perspective. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill.

Malini, H., & Washington, A. (2014). Employees' Motivation and Valued Rewards as a Key to Effective QWL- from the Perspective of Expectancy Theory. TSM Business Review, 2(2), 45-54.

Samnani, A., & Singh, P. (2014). Performance-enhancing compensation practices and employee productivity: The role of workplace bullying. Human Resource Management Review, 24(1), 5-16. doi:10.1016/j.hrmr.2013.08.013

Sims, R. R. (2002). Managing organizational behavior. Westport, CT: Praeger.

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