Expectancy Theory: Motivation

Motivation Definition: The reason or reasons to act in a particular way. It is what makes us do things and carry out tasks for the organisation. However, motivation is often used as an excuse, a lack of motivation for not doing anything. This is why in an organisation discipline needs to be used, to inspire the fact that motivation isn’t always needed, but discipline to get the job done is.

Expectancy Theory Definition: The expectancy theory was thought up by Vroom in 1963 and later expanded on by Porter and Lawler in 1968. The theory was one that argued that individual motivation depends on what the outcome would be like, how the person who likes the result to be will change how motivated he/she is to meet that target.

As a motive is always depending on doing something, then it becomes more desirable and therefore more motivation is put into achieving it. A good example of this is that if you were working at an organisation and would like to increase you salary, you would probably work a lot harder, if working hard is likely to get you more money. On the other hand, if you didn’t think that working hard would get you that extra bit of money, then you would probably not work hard to achieve the goal.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory focuses on three main points; valence, instrumentality, expectancy. This theory can be shown in a formula, with force equalling the force of motivation.

Force = Valence x Instrumentality x Expectancy

The higher the value being the more motivated you are to work. If one value is zero, the answer will be zero, showing that each point needs to be met.

Valence – If valence is low this means that you are not bothered about the outcome, therefore meaning that work doesn’t need to be put in.

Instrumentality – If you don’t think the outcome will affect anything, then you won’t be motivated to try and make that outcome the best it could be.

Expectancy – If expectancy is low, this means that you don’t expect the outcome to be good no matter how hard you try; therefore there isn’t any point in trying, leading to no motivation.

Porter and Lawler

Porter and Lawler went on and made the above theory a bit more complex and in-depth. To do this they identified 9 different factors which affected work motivation, which are as follows;

  1. Perceived value of rewards
  2. Expectation that performance will lead to reward
  3. Effort
  4. Individual abilities and traits
  5. Role perceptions
  6. Job performance
  7. Intrinsic rewards and extrinsic rewards
  8. Perceived equity of rewards
  9. Job satisfaction

Vroom (1964)

Key Learning Points?

  1. What is the Definition of Motivation?
  2. What is the Definition of the Expectancy Theory?
  3. What are the 9 Factors Identified by Porter and Lawler Regarding Motivation?