The Expectancy Theory

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The Expectancy Theory The Expectancy Theory The expectancy theory is based on the idea that people are motived when they believe they can accomplish a task for which there is a reward, and that the reward will be worth their work. The theory began with Victor Vroom’s formula, motivation=expectancy x instrumentality x valence, and is dependent upon the idea that both intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect behavior. The expectancy theory also holds that behavior is the decision of the individual, and the decision is based on the individual’s perception of the outcome. Vroom’s Formula Broken down, the components of Vroom’s formula reveal what must be present for motivation to take place under the theory. Expectancy is a person’s perception of his or her ability. If the person does not believe that they are not capable of completing a task, they are not motivated to try. As a leader, this is important to understand. If an individual is not set up for success by way of training and effective instruction, they are most likely to feel unprepared and therefore unmotivated to complete a task. Instrumentality refers to the individual’s belief that the expected performance will result in a reward. A successful leader will use instrumentality to his or her advantage to motivate an employee with the promise of rewards. It is important however, that the leader is consistent when giving promised rewards for performance. If an employee is promised a promotion or pay increase if a particular metric is reached, the leader will lose their credibility in this respect if he or she does not follow through with the reward. Valence refers to the value an individual places on the reward. Generally, the larger the outcome or the reward, the more motivation the employee will have. This is important for a leader to understand because each individual employee values

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