An additional theory of motivation was developed by Victor H. Vroom and is called the preference-expectancy theory. The expectancy model of motivation has been the subject of a great deal of research and attention since its development. Vroom's theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. Together with Edward Lawler and Lyman Porter, Vroom suggested that the relationship between people's behavior at work and their goals was not as simple as was first imagined by other scientists. Vroom realized that an employee's performance is based on individuals factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities.
The theory implies that motivation depends on the preferences and expectations of an individual and people are influenced by the expected outcomes of their behavior. This theory emphasizes the need for organizations to relate rewards directly to performance and to be sure that the rewards are desired by the recipients. Its ingredients were expectancy (the link between personal effort and outcomes) and valence (the anticipated satisfaction from outcomes). This model was later modified by Lawler, who divided expectancy into E-P and P-O stages and looks as follows:
Model of Expectancy Theory
An expectancy is a belief about the probability that something will happen and according to the this theory there are two such beliefs that influence effort.
• The Effort - Performance Expectancy is a belief that effort will lead to the successful performance of some task. In other words, "If I try hard enough can I do it?" This belief depends upon a number of factors, the most important of which is the individual's assessment of his or her own skills and knowledge relevant to the difficulty of the task being performed. It also depends upon other beliefs, such as whether the right tools and equipment (if needed) are available and whether there are major obstacles to performance in the environment.
• The Performance - Outcome Expectancy the belief that a certain outcome, usually a reward, will follow performance. "If I do it, will I be rewarded?". This belief depends upon what has happened when the performance has occurred in the past, what the individual has been told will occur if the performance is accomplished, and/or what he or she sees happening to others who perform successfully.
• The third factor affecting motivation in the expectancy model is the valence or value of the outcome or reward. Valence is the anticipated relative satisfaction or dissatisfaction, that will result from a certain outcome. Because different individuals have different needs and preferences for rewards, the rewards being offered in exchange for performance may not be valued. If valence is low, that is, if the reward has little perceived value, expectancy theory predicts that motivation to perform will decrease.
If any of the three factors critical to motivation is low, motivation and subsequent performance will be low. The greatest motivation occurs when both expectancies are high and the expected reward is strongly valued. If either expectancy is zero, no effort will be expended. This relationship can be expressed by the following formula:
Motivation = E-P Expectancy X P-O Expectancy x Valence
An employee has the expectancy that increased effort will lead to
performance (E-P Expectancy). In addition, each individual expects that increased
performance will produce certain outcomes (P-O Expectancy). Thus, if an
individual has a high expectation that increased effort will lead to a desirable
outcome, his or her level of motivation will be high. If either the expectation of
obtaining the outcome or the value of the outcome is low, the level of motivation
will be low. Vroom's theory is based on the belief that individual expectations and
preferences do exist, even though they may be unconscious, and have different sets
of goals and can be motivated if they believe that:
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