Vroom from Yale School of Management is credited with the coining of the expectancy theory. Vroom’s expectancy theory argues that people have different personal goals in life. In light of this, the expectancy theory further argues that individuals can only be motivated when their personal expectations are met.
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This means that there is a positive correlation between an individual’s motivation at work and fulfillment of their expectations in life (DuBrin, 2008).
Three key components and relationships in the expectancy theory of motivation
Vroom’s expectation theory has three key components which are interrelated. They are vital in terms of management strategies. These three key components are:
Valence can be described as the sentimental orientation of an employee with reference to incentives. Valence relates to the profundity of employees’ needs which are either inherent or extrinsic. For instance, an employee’s inherent needs may include endorsement for a higher managerial position, financial rewards and other benefits. Extrinsic needs may include job satisfaction.
According to the theory, employees are mostly interested in the results that different ranks of performances are associated with. Therefore, they will always pursue the ranks that come with the greatest rewards (Williams, 2006).
According to this component, employees have a range of expectations and some levels of confidence in themselves; these relate to their capacity in performing certain tasks. Hence, expectancy is used in relation to the strength of an employee’s conviction about the achievability of a given specific task.
In light of this, the expectancy theory posits that top management executives must be aware of the resources, kind of supervision and relevant trainings that employees require to have so as to perform a given task. In order to fulfill the expectancy, there is need for instrumentality (Williams, 2006).
According to this, the employees always expect to receive the actual rewards whenever they perform a task to the satisfaction of the company or organization. Employees expect to be rewarded for every excellent performance they undertake. In relation to this, the management of every organization needs to be very instrumental in fulfilling employees’ expectations in relation to job performance (Williams, 2006).
Applying expectancy theory to the case of the company in question
The situation in the company in question needs to utilize the expectancy theory. The management of the company should apply the assumptions of the theory in finding out the real issues with the employees; it should also apply it in resolving the issues.
The company should first realize the importance of valence. The management should appreciate the fact that the company employees have varied sentimental orientations that determine their perceptions about the outcomes of what they do for the company.
Employees’ motivation goes past the financial benefits they get. In view of this, the management should ensure that every performance is matched with relevant and fair rewards. This will guarantee the employees the expected rewards and hence boost their motivation and determination at work.
With regard to expectation, the management should recognize that as much as employees expect salaries at the end of every month, salaries alone are not enough. The employees have other expectations that relate to their ability and confidence levels for the kind of tasks available for them to perform.
Therefore, before the introduction of the new line of production, the company should have found out the necessary trainings or technical skills the employees needed, especially those under the direct supervision of supervisor A. The employees clearly needed to be trained on the operation of the new line of production.
This is where the company failed. Therefore, the company’s top management should ensure that employees are adequately trained for the new responsibilities that have come with the new production line. Besides, the company should also avail sufficient resources for effective performance.
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The most prominent problem in the company is that the employees’ expectations on excellent performances are not matched with commensurate rewards. Owing to this, instrumentality is lacking on the part of the management.
In order to enhance employees’ motivation, the company should genuinely and appropriately reward those employees who work hard to achieve all the set targets; the more an employee contributes to the vision of the company the more reward such an employee should get. In other words, the company should adopt pay schemes that differentiate individual performance (Chelladurai, 2006).
This will definitely motivate everyone to work hard since everybody wants an extra income and benefit. Moreover, the management of the company should also not default on their promises to employees.
It is the promise of genuine rewards that make employees to always work with determination believing that in the end their efforts will bear some benefits. The employees who do not perform as required should be less rewarded than those who meet company goals.
Expectancy theory was coined by Victor Vroom. The theory has three key components that are vital for management of every organization. These components include valence, expectancy and instrumentality. The company in question can make use of expectation theory in resolving the issues affecting its employees and also enhance motivation amongst the employees.
Chelladurai, P. (2006). Human resource management in sport and recreation. Hamphire: Human Kinetics.
DuBrin, A. (2008). Essentials of Management. New York: Cengage Learning.
Williams, C. (2006). Management. New York: Cengage Learning.