Expectancy Theory Of Motivation !

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    Everyone wants to be more productive.To be more productive we need motivation. Motivation helps in doing such things, which seems impossible to us. Motivation is influencing someone to do something. Our social researchers are trying to find out what stimulates our behavior,how and why. There are different theories of motivation like Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, Vroom’s Expectancy Theory, Herzberg’s Motivation Theory, Porter and lawler’s Expectancy Theory, Argyri’s Theory. Here Expectancy Theory of motivation is being discussed.


    The Expectancy Theory was introduced by Victor Vroom. Vroom’s theory emphasize on outcomes not on needs unlike Hrzberg and Maslow. The Expectancy theory states that people will opt how to deal depending on the outcomes they expect as a result of their behaviour. In other words, it means we decide what to do rooted on what we expect the outcome to be. This theory focuses on the behavioural procedure of why individuals opt one behavioral option over the other.

    Expectancy theory rooted on three factors:

    • Expectancy : effort- execution
    • Instrumentality : execution- outcome
    • Valence : outcome- reward
    1. Expectancy: It is the belief that one’s effort will result in attainment of desired goals. It is based on past experience, self confidence and thinking that how difficult is to achieve the goal.
    2. Instrumentality: It is the belief that a person will receive a reward if he meet the performance expectations.
    3. Valence: It is the value that a person will receive a reward. This reward may present in the form of promotion,pay increase etc.


    • This theory mainly focus on self-interest. It is based on the individuals who wants utmost satisfaction and less dissatisfaction.
    • It is based on psychological extravagance. The main purpose of an individual is to get maximum pleasure and less pain.
    • It stresses upon expectations and perceptions. It emphasis on rewards.


    • The use of this theory is limited with reward. It is not directly correlated with the execution.
    • The use of this theory is limited with few individuals because only few individuals have high degree of correlation between execution and rewards.


    The Expectancy theory focus on three factors. When these three factors i.e expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence are high, person feels highly motivated. This theory can be explained in detailed with the help of an example. Lets take an example of wiki bank where this theory is applicable appropriately.

    Wiki bank is a local bank. Each client if this bank is warmly greeted. As stated above this bank have local reach and have growth potential,ABC bank proposed a merger. Wiki bank accepted their proposal. The two banks now become ABC-Wiki Bank. After the merger the working conditions and compensation programs changes rapidly to match the competition. The employees expected to be work more with same pay and in the same amount of time. There is an employee in this bank whose name is susan. She is 40 years old and working in this bank for last 15 years. She is a teller lead. She began as a teller  but now she is becoming an inspiration to her all employees in handling their  customer issues . After merger she feel frustrated with the expectations from her. She tried to hide her frustrations but could n’t succeed. She feels positive when management praised her. This example is explained with these three factors of expectancy theory.

    • Expectancy (low) : There is low expectancy because Susan doesn’t meet her job requirements and she is afraid to ask help from anyone.
    • Instrumentality(low-medium): There is low-medium outcome because after merger she is not clear with her role and she feels very frustrated.
    • Valence(Medium): There is medium valence as she is praised by upper management.

    Motivational Strategy: This theory gives motivation to susan. Susan needs clear and concise job details which provides her direction. She feels motivated when she is praised by upper management ans this will reflect in her interactions with other team members.

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