Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Vroom's Expectancy Theory

Vrooms theory deals with management and motivation.  It assumes that behaviour is caused by a making a conscious choice from a number of alternatives, pleasure being maximised and pain minimised.  Vrooms realisation was that an employee’s performance is based on individual factors such as skills, knowledge, personality, experience and abilities.

In essence the theory says individuals have different goals, and they can be motivated if they have certain expectations.

The expectations arising from expectancy theory are that

  • Efforts and performance are positively correlated.
  • Positive performance results in positive rewards.
  • Then rewards satisfy an important need.
  • Desire to satisfy outweighs the effort needed to succeed.

Expectancy theory beliefs

The foundation of expectancy theory is based on three main beliefs

Valence: This refers to the emotional orientations that people have regarding rewards/outcomes, management need to discover what people (employees) value;

Expectancy: Employees do not share the same levels of expectations and they have differing levels of confidence in their own abilities.  Management needs to identify and provide employees with resources, training and support.

Instrumentality: There is a difference between employee’s perception of what they actually desire and what they actually receive by way of rewards.  Management need to ensure that promises are honoured and the fulfilment by management of these promises is effectively communicated.

The link between the three beliefs can be stated as:

Motivation = Valence × expectancy