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Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory

We have said a lot about motivation theories. This is because the subject is very broad, but also very important for the proper functioning of an enterprise. Motivated employees are much more effective and happy with their work. This is important for both parties. The next theory we are going to discuss is Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory.

In his theory of motivation, Vroom presented an approach that was slightly different from those of other authors. He did not list motivators or put them in any sort of hierarchy. He claimed that people take certain actions expecting certain effects they desire. Therefore, motivation depends on two crucial factors:

  • How strong our desire is,
  • What the probability of fulfilling this desire is.

The expectancy theory is based on three assumptions, in accordance with which the employee makes their choice. These are:

  • Expectancy: expectations concerning the effects of the work. Taking up a task, employees think what results that will produce,
  • Instrumentality: how much effort the employee needs to make to achieve the objective,
  • Valence: how important the reward (achieving the objective) is.

Victor Vroom was of the opinion that motivation is a process that defines the choice an employee makes between particular variants. Each of the employees has different needs and goals, so each of them will make the decisions they see as best. If a given goal is important for an employee, they will work harder to achieve it.

Vroom’s model was later expanded by L. Porter and E. Lawler. The distinguished two elements in the expected probability: task performance and rewards. This allows the employee to solve the tasks assigned to them.

The expectancy theory shows that a good manager should know the most important goals of the members of their team and should encourage them to take actions. The more the employees enjoy their work, the more effective they are. This, in turn, will translate to the success of the entire company. The possibility of doing work in line with one’s interests is huge motivation that makes the members of an organisation more efficient in what they do.

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