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Expectancy Theory & Porter & Lawlers Model of Motivation

The Expectancy Theory of Motivation was suggested by Victor H. Vroom of the Yale School of Management, Vroom has focused much of his research on dealing with motivation and leadership within an organization. One of the most influential books on the subject of motivation was written by Vroom in 1964, called Work and Motivation. The basic idea behind the theory is that people will be motivated because they believe that their decision will lead to their desired outcome" (Redmond, 2009). This has a practical and positive benefit of improving motivation because it can, and has, helped leaders create motivational programs in the workplace "This theory is built upon the idea that motivation comes from a person believing they will get what they want in the form of performance or rewards. Although the theory is not "all inclusive" of individual motivation factors, it provides leaders with a foundation on which to build a better understanding of ways to motivate subordinates" (AETC, 2008). Expectancy theory is classified as a process theory of motivation because it emphasizes individual perceptions of the environment and subsequent interactions arising as a consequence of personal expectations. The theory states that individuals have different sets of goals and can be motivated if they believe that:

There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance. Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward. The reward will satisfy an important need.

The theory suggests that an individual's perceived view of an outcome will determine the level of motivation . It assumes that the choices being made are to maximize pleasure and minimize pain , as also seen in the Law of Effect, "one of the principles of reinforcement theory which states that people engage in behaviors that have pleasant outcomes and avoid behaviors that have unpleasant outcomes" (Thorndike, 1913). He suggests that prior belief of the relationship between people's work and their goal as a simple correlation is incorrect. Individual factors including skills, knowledge, experience, personality, and abilities can all have an impact on an employee's performance. Vroom theorized that the source of motivation in Expectancy Theory is a " multiplicative function of valence, instrumentality and expectancy." (Stecher & Rosse, 2007). He suggested that "people consciously chose a particular course of action, based upon perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs as a consequence of their desires to enhance pleasure and avoid pain" (Vroom, 1964).

Expectancy Theory has three major components: 1. 2. 3. Expectancy Instrumentality Valence These components work together to establish our Motivation Force (MF).

Expectancy (Effort performance relationship)


"The relationship between Effort and Performance is known as the E-P linkage" (Isaac, 2001). "The expectancy component of expectancy theory is the belief that one's effort (E), will give the expected performance (P) goal" (Scholl, 2002). In order for a person to be effectively motivated, that individual needs to perceive that their personal expenditure of effort will result in an acceptable level of performance. The concept of perception is very important throughout this theory, as it concludes that in order for a person to be motivated into putting effort towards a task, they need only to believe that their effort will result in a certain level of performance, or that a certain level of performance is attainable. These variables include self-efficacy (a person's belief in their ability to perform successfully), goal difficulty (how attainable is this goal), and control (does the person actually have control over the expected outcome).

A key question to ask to determine expectancy is:


What is the strength of the relationship between the effort I put forth and how well I perform?
Additional examples of determinations of expectancy include (Scholl, 2002):

If I spend most of tonight studying, will it improve my grade on tomorrow's math exam? If I work harder than everyone else in the plant, will I produce more? If I practice my foul shot more, will my foul shooting improve in the game? If I make more sales calls, will I make any more sales?

Instrumentality (Performance Reward relationship)


The second component in the Expectancy Theory equation is Instrumentality. Instrumentality is the perception that a given performance level is related to a given outcome. a person's belief that a given output will facilitate a given reward (outcome). A person will only perform at a certain level if they believe that the performance will lead to a given expressed outcome. The relationship is represented by the P-O linkage (Isaac, 2001). The instrumentality component of Expectancy Theory is the person's belief that if they can meet performance expectations, they will receive "a great reward" (Scholl, 2002).
A key question to ask to determine instrumentality is:

What is the strength of the relationship between the things I do and the rewards I get from my actions?
Examples of determinations of instrumentality (Scholl, 2002):

If I get a better grade on tomorrow's math test will I get an "A" in math? If I produce more than anyone else in the plant, will I get a bigger raise? A faster promotion? If my foul shooting improves will I have a shot as a team MVP? If I make more sales will I get a bonus? A greater commission? If I make more sales will I believe that I am the best sales person or be recognized by others as the best sales person?

Valence V (Reward - Personal goals Relationship)


Valence is the final component of VIE theory. Valence is characterized by the extent to which a person values a given outcome or reward. It is important to note that valence is not the actual level of satisfaction that an individual receives from an outcome, but rather it is the EXPECTED satisfaction a person receives from a particular outcome (Redmond, 2010). This subjective value is based on the individual's perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. "The level at which an individual values an outcome is described as it's valence" (Gerhart, Minkoff, Olsen, 1995). Valence can include a range from both a postive to negative outcome. A negative outcome is something that a person percieves as being an outcome that would lead to dissatisfaction. A positive outcome would occur if a person views it as being good and also being on more valued outcomes after like a promotion.
A key question to ask to determine valence is:

How valuable do I perceive the potential reward(s) to be?


Examples of determinations of valence (Scholl, 2002):

How much I really want an "A" in math? Do I want a bigger raise? Is it worth the extra effort? Do I want a promotion? How important is it to me to be team MVP? Do I need a sales bonus? Is the extra time I spend making extra sales calls worth the extra commission? Is it important to me that I am the best salesperson?

Motivational Force
When expectancy, instrumentality, and valence are met, a motivational force occurs. This force exerts internal pressure on an individual to be motivated. The larger the force, the more a person will be motivated to obtain the outcomes of the job (Redmond, 2010). In order for motivational force to be high, valence, instrumentality, and expectancy must also be high. If any one of those is low, motivation will be low (Redmond, 2009). Vroom concludes that the force of motivation in an employee can be calculated using the formula:

Motivation = Valence*Expectancy*Instrumentality

A motivated employee is thus the product of the perceived level of satisfaction, the confidence to achieve, and the rewards that the employee hopes to receive on achieving the set goals. In other words, valence * expectancy * instrumentality = motivation (Iyer, 2009). If promotions are only awarded based on seniority, then a new employee is unlikely to put forth effort that would otherwise get them promoted. Since link between obtaining what they want and what is done is non-existent, instrumentality is low (Redmond, 2010). An employee with a postiive level of expectancy believes that exerting effort will result in a positive outcome for them. If the same employee has a high level of instrumentality, they would believe that their rewards (outcome) are based on job performance. Finally, if an organization offers rewards that the employee values (valiance) such as promotions, bonuses, and/or fringe benefits like a company car, then the employee would be considered to be a motivated one.

Best Example for Expectancy Theory


To apply expectancy theory to a real-world situation, lets analyze an automobile-insurance company with one hundred agents who work from a call center. Assume that the firm pays a base salary of $2,000 a month, plus a $200 commission on each policy sold above ten policies a month. In terms of expectancy theory, under what conditions would an agent be motivated to sell more than ten policies a month? 1. The agent would have to believe that his or her efforts would result in policy sales (that, in other words, theres a positive link between effort and performance). 2. The agent would have to be confident that if he or she sold more than ten policies in a given month, there would indeed be a bonus (a positive link between performance and reward). 3. The bonus per policy$200would have to be of value to the agent. Now lets alter the scenario slightly. Say that the company raises prices, thus making it harder to sell the policies. How will agents motivation be affected? According to expectancy theory, motivation will suffer. Why? Because agents may be less confident that their efforts will lead to satisfactory performance. What if the company introduces a policy whereby agents get bonuses only if buyers dont cancel policies within ninety days? How will this policy affect motivation? Now agents may be less confident that theyll get bonuses even if they do sell more than ten policies. Motivation will

decrease because the link between performance and reward has been weakened. Finally, what will happen if bonuses are cut from $200 to $25? Obviously, the reward would be of less value to agents, and, again, motivation will suffer. The message of expectancy theory, then, is fairly clear: managers should offer rewards that employees value, set performance levels that they can reach, and ensure a strong link between performance and reward.

Porter & Lawlers Model (Extension of Expectancy Theory)

Porter and Lawler start with the premise that motivation (effort or force) does not equal satisfaction or performance. Motivation, satisfaction, and performance are all separate variables and relate in ways different from what was traditionally assumed. as shown in the model, boxes 1, 2, and 3 are basically the same as the Vroom equation. It is important, however, that Porter and Lawler point out that effort (force or. motivation) does not lead directly to performance. It is moderated by abilities and traits and by role perceptions. More important in the Porter-Lawler model is what happens after the performance. The rewards that follow and how these are perceived will determine satisfaction. In other words, the Porter-Lawler model suggests-and this is a significant turn of events from traditional thinking-that performance leads to satisfaction. Expectancy models provide certain guidelines that can be followed by human resource management. For example, on the front end (the relationship between motivation and performance), it has been suggested that the following barriers must be overcome: 1. Doubts about ability, skill, or knowledge 2. The physical or practical possibility of the job 3. The interdependence of the job with other people or activities 4. Ambiguity surrounding the job requirements

Guidelines such as the following have been suggested: l. Determine what rewards each employee values 2. Define desired performance 3. Make desired performance attainable 4. Link valued rewards to performance