Expectancy Theory

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Tasha T. Salveron

Jobe R. Bonafe

12/11/2010

Victor Vroom: Expectancy Theory

Porter & Lawler: Expanded Expectancy Theory

A. Victor Vroom: Expectancy Theory

Expectancy Theory is a model by Victor Vroom explaining the process of motivation. According to the theory, “motivation depends on two things – how much we want something and how likely we think we are to get it”.

The theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives and that the individual’s purpose is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Expectancy theory rests on four basic assumptions. “First, it assumes that behavior is determined by a combination of forces in the individual and in the environment. Second, it assumes that people make decisions about their own behavior in organizations. Third, it assumes that different people have different types of needs, desires, and goals. Fourth, it assumes that people make choices from among alternative plans of behavior, based on their perceptions of the extent to which a given behavior will lead to desired outcomes. [1]“

Below is a model of the basic idea of the theory. Motivation leads to effort. When combined with the appropriate environment and ability, performance will occur. The performance, in turn, leads to different outcomes. The outcomes have associated valence, or values. Underlying the model is the expectations of the individual that effort will lead to high performance, that performance will lead to outcomes, and that each outcome has a value.

There are three components to Expectancy Theory:

1. Expectancy: Effort-to-Performance

The effort-to-performance expectancy is the perception of the individual that effort will lead to a high level of performance. The perception that one will learn valuable lessons by exerting the effort to attend lectures is an example. Expectancy is high when the individual believes that effort will lead directly to a high performance. The expectancy is low...
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