Expectancy Theories - Motivation - Organizatinoal Behavior

The expectancy model is based upon the belief that motivation is determined by the nature of the reward people expect to germ as a result of their job performance. The underlying assumption is that a man is a rational being and will try to maximize his perceived value of such rewards. He will choose an alternative that would give him the most benefit. People are highly motivated if they believe that a certain type of behavior will lead to a certain type of outcome and their extent of personal preference for that type of outcome.

There are three important elements in the model. These are:

Expectancy: this is a person's perception of the likelihood that a particular outcome will result from a particular behavior or action. This likelihood is probabilistic in nature and describes the relationship between an act and its outcome. For example, if a student works hard during the semester, he will expect to do well in the final examination. It is not 100% definite that he will indeed so well in the examination. There is some probability attached to this outcome. Similarly, if a person works hard, he may expect to perform better and increase productivity. For example, a worker worked hard and is absolutely certain (expectancy = 1.0) that he can produce an average of 15 units a day and 60% certain (expectancy = 0.6) that he can produce a high of 20 units per day. This expectation of outcome is known as "first level" outcome.

Instrumentality: this factor relates to a person's belief and expectation that his performance will lead to a particular desired reward. It is the degree of association of first level outcome of a particular effort to the second level outcome-that is the ultimate reward. For example, working hard may lead to better performance-which is the first level outcome, and it may result in a reward believes that his high performance will not be recognized or lead to expected and desired rewards, he will not be motivated to work head for better output. Similarly, a professor may work hard to improve upon  his techniques of teaching and communication(first level outcome) in order to get promotion and tenure (second level outcome). Accordingly, instrumentality is the performance-reward relationship.

Valence: valence is the value a person assigns to his desired reward. He may not be willing to work head to improve performance of the reward for such improved performance is not what he desires, it is not the actual value of the reward but the perceptual value of the reward in the mind of the worker that is important. A person may be motivated to work hard not to her a pay raise but to her recognition and status. Another person may be more interested in job security than status.

According to this model of motivation, a person's level of effort (motivation) depends upon:

Expectancy: a worker must be confident that his efforts will results in better productivity and that he has the ability to perform the task well.

Instrumentality:  the worker must be confident that such high performance will  be instrumental in getting desired rewards.

Valence:  the worker must value these rewards as desired and satisfactory. Hence motivation is related to all these three factors as:

Motivational force   (M) = expectancy (E) * instrumentality (l) * valence (v)

Or                                  M = (E * l *V)

As the relationship suggests, the motivational force will be the highest when expectancy, instrumentality and valence are all high and the motivational value is greatly reduced when any one or more of expectancy, instrumentality or valence approaches the value of zero.

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