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The Expectancy Theory

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Question 8 - Provide an overview of Victor Vroom's expectancy theory and list and describe the three variables or relationships that support this theory. Using the expectancy theory, provide an example of when you have been motivated. Draw upon your own work experience or reflect on your experience at university to provide an example.

In today's society, motivation is a much talked about topic and not very clearly understood. Most companies look for ways to improve efficiency, productivity and quality. This is achieved by higher levels of motivation. People are generally motivated when they believe their efforts will yield an acceptable performance, performance will be rewarded and the value of the reward is highly positive. (Schermerhorn, John, James, Osborn & Richard 2005). This is otherwise known as Victor Vroom's expectancy theory. The purpose of this essay is to provide an overview of the expectancy theory by describing the three variables that support this theory and provide examples of how and when it has influenced my motivation within the work force.

The expectancy theory says that individuals have different sets of goals and can be motivated if they have certain expectation. Individuals choose behaviours based on the outcomes they expect and the values they ascribe to those expected outcomes (Borders 2004). Vroom's Expectancy theory is based upon the following three variables which he calls Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality valances (Bartol, Tein, Matthews, Riston & Scott-Ladd 2006).

Valence refers to the value an individual personally places on the reward or upon the expected outcome of a situation. The Valence is high if the reward available is of interest to us. When you have a higher valence you tend to have higher motivation (Bartol, Tein, Matthews, Riston & Scott-Ladd 2006).

Expectancy is the belief that your efforts will result in attainment of the desired performance. This belief is generally based on an individuals past experience, self confidence. Expectancy would be zero if an individual felt it were impossible to achieve a given performance level (Bartol, Tein, Matthews, Riston & Scott-Ladd 2006).

Instrumentality is the belief that the success of the situation is linked to the expected



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