The Expectancy Theory

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Using an example of your choice apply the expectation theory of motivation. You should consider both its strengths and weaknesses as a theory.

Arguments will be presented to show, how the expectation theory of motivation can be used to measure the force of motivation for a student to study, to achieve a high grade in his or her math's test. This example will be relevant as the expectation theory can look at whether the reward will motivate/not motivate the student, whether the value of the goal will motivate/not motivate the student, or if the thought high effort will achieve a high grade will motivate/not motivate the student.

‘The first major expectancy theory was put forward by victor Harold Vroom in 1964 although later writers, such as porter and Lawler in 1968, have both added to and modified the theory in certain respects' (M. Smith., 1991). The expectancy theory works on the basis that to achieve high motivation, hard productive work must gain a valued goal or reward for example in a workplace if you want more money, and more money will come if you work hard then we can predict that you will work hard. ‘If you still want more money, and all you think working hard will get you is smiles from the boss we can predict that you will choose not to work hard, unless you put a high value on smiles from the boss' (D. Buchanan & A. Huczynski., 2004). Victor Harold Vroom formed the expectancy theory using three concepts; Expectancy, Instrumentality and valence. From this he came up with this equation.

F (force motivation) =å(V (Valence) x I (instrumentality) x E (expectancy))

The expectancy is the belief that one's effort (E) will result in attainment of the desired performance goals. This belief, or perception, is generally based on an individual's past experience, self confidence (often termed self efficiency), and the perceived difficulty of the performance standard or goal. Variables affecting the individual's Expectancy perception: oSelf Efficiency- efficiency is a person's belief about his or her ability to perform a particular behavior successfully. Does the individual believe that he or she has the skills and competencies required to perform the required goals well, can the student achieve a high grade does he or she possess the skills and knowledge? oGoal Difficulty- Goals that are set too high or performance expectations that are made too difficult, lead to low expectancy perceptions. When individuals perceive that the goals are beyond their ability to achieve, motivation is low because of low Expectancy. oPerceived Control Over Performance- For Expectancy to be high, individuals must believe that some degree of control over the expected outcome. When individuals perceive that the outcome is beyond their ability to influence, Expectancy, and thus motivation, is low. For example, many profit-sharing plans do not motivate individuals to increase their effort because these employees do not think that they have direct control over the profits of their large companies. In the example of a student working towards a high grade the student should have some control over performance, as studying more should improve the final grade. The instrumentality is the belief that if one does meet performance expectations, he or she will receive a greater reward. This reward may come in the form of a pay increase, promotion, recognition or a sense of accomplishment. It is important to note that when valued rewards follow all levels of performance, then instrumentality is low. For example, if a lecturer is known to give everyone in the class a high grade regardless of performance level, then instrumentality is low. Variables affecting the individual's instrumentality perception: oTrust- when individuals trust their leaders (in this example lecturers), they're more likely to believe their promises that good performance will be rewarded. oControl- when workers do not trust the leaders of their organizations,...
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