Vroom Expectation Theory: Effort, Performance, And Result.

Vroom’s expectation theory assumes that behavior results from conscious choices between alternatives whose purpose is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, along with Edward Lawler and Lyman Porter, Victor Vroom suggested that the relationship between people’s behavior in the The work and its goals were not as simple as other scientists first imagined. Vroom realized that an employee’s performance is based on individual factors, such as personality , skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities.

What is Vroom’s expectation theory?

This theory proposes that an individual will behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated to select a specific behavior over other behaviors due to what they expect to be the result of that selected behavior. In essence, the motivation for the selection of the behavior is determined by the desirability of the result, however, at the center of the theory is the cognitive process of how an individual processes the different motivational elements, this is done before making the last decision . The result is not the only determining factor in making the decision of how to behave.

The theory of expectations is about the mental processes related to choice, it explains the processes that an individual undergoes to make decisions. In the study of organizational behavior, expectation theory is a theory of motivation first proposed by Victor Vroom of the Yale School of Management.

The theory suggests that although individuals may have different sets of goals, they may be motivated if they believe that:

  • There is a positive correlation between effort and performance.
  • Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward.
  • The reward will satisfy an important need.
  • The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort worthwhile.

The expectation theory of motivation provides an explanation for why an individual chooses to enact one specific behavior rather than another. This cognitive process assesses the motivational strength (FM) of the different behavioral options based on the individual’s perception of the probability of achieving the desired result. Therefore, motivational strength can be summarized by the following equation:

FM = Expectation X Instrumentality X Σ (Valencia)

Expectation: Effort → Performance (E → R)

The expectation refers to the “effort-performance” relationship, therefore, the individual’s perception is that the effort they will put in will result in the achievement of the “performance”. This cognitive assessment is heavily weighted by past experiences, personality, self-confidence, and the emotional state of the individual.

  • Self-efficacy: The belief of the person about their ability to successfully perform a particular behavior, the individual will assess whether they have the skills or knowledge required to achieve their goals.
  • Goal Difficulty: When goals are set too high or performance expectations become too difficult, this will likely lead to low expectation. This occurs when the individual believes that their desired results are unattainable.
  • Perceived control: People must believe that they have some degree of control over the expected outcome. When individuals perceive that the outcome is beyond their ability to influence, the expectation, and therefore the motivation, is low.

Instrumentality: Performance → Result (R → R)

Instrumentality refers to the “performance-reward” relationship. The individual assesses the probability or probability that achieving the performance level actually results in the achievement of the reward.

This reward can come in the form of a raise, promotion, recognition or sense of accomplishment, the instrumentation is low when the reward is the same for all the performances given. Another way that the instrumental results work is the commissions, with the performance of the commissions is directly correlated with the result (how much money is earned), if the return is high and a lot of goods are sold, the more money the person will earn.

Factors associated with the instrumentality of the individual for outcomes are trust, control, and policies:

  • Trust the people who will decide who gets what result, based on performance.
  • Control of how the decision is made, who gets what result.
  • Policies understand the correlation between performance and results.

Valencia (V)

It is the value that the individual associates with the result (reward), a positive valence indicates that the individual has a preference for obtaining the reward, a negative valence is indicative that the individual, based on his perception, evaluated that the reward does not satisfy a Necessity or a personal goal, therefore, he or she does not place any value towards its achievement.

For example, if you have a team of people who are already well paid for their efforts, those employees might prefer to receive time off rather than a bonus check. The best way to know what kinds of rewards will motivate your team is to simply ask, by getting an idea of ​​the types of rewards that will make your employees work hard day after day, you can be sure to tailor your offerings to their wishes.

Valence is characterized by the extent to which a person values ​​a certain result or reward, this is not a real level of satisfaction but the expected satisfaction of a particular result.

Valence refers to the value that the individual personally assigns to rewards. -1 → 0 → +1.

For the valence to be positive, the person must prefer to achieve the result.

As the Motivational Force (FM) is the multiplication of the expectation by the instrumentality, then it is by the valence that any perception that has a value of zero or the feeling of the individual that “it will not happen”, will result in a motivation zero force.

Situations that occur in Vroom’s expectation theory

Management, for example, can deal with different situations as follows:

Expectation of low performance and effort

Reasons: Lack of necessary skills and training so workers don’t know that their extra efforts will lead to better performance.

What to do:  Management should provide skills-enhancing training opportunities to improve the performance-to-effort ratio.

Instrumentality ratio and low performance reward

Reasons: The reward policy may be inconsistent and may depend on factors other than performance that the worker may be unaware of or may not consider fair.

What to do:  Management must re-evaluate evaluation techniques and formulate policies that strengthen this relationship as fair and equitable.

Low reward – Valencia

Reasons: Rewards may not be desirable for workers. Some workers may find monetary rewards desirable, while others may value recognition more.

What to do:  Management should investigate the appropriateness of performance-based rewards.

Evaluation of Vroom’s expectation theory

Vroom’s theory has become very popular and has provided an alternative to content theories, which he claimed were inadequate explanations of a complex process of work motivation.

The positive points of this theory are:

(i) The expectation model is very useful to understand organizational behavior, it can improve the relationship between the individual and the organization’s objectives. This model explains how individual goals influence their efforts and they like needs-based models to reveal that individual behavior is goal-oriented.

(ii) The expectation theory is a cognitive theory that values ​​human dignity, individuals are considered rational human beings who can anticipate their future based on their beliefs and expectations.

(iii) This theory helps managers to look beyond what Maslow and Herzberg implied, according to them, motivation does not mean satisfying unmet needs. Managers must make it possible for an employee to see that such effort can result in an appropriate need for satisfactory rewards; this level of expectations will enhance motivation to work.

Despite these positives, there are some drawbacks to Vroom’s expectation theory as follows:

(i) Vroom’s theory is difficult to research and apply in practice, this is evident from the fact that there have been very few research studies specifically designed to test Vroom’s theory.

(ii) This theory assumes that man is a rational human being who makes all decisions consciously, but there are numerous cases where decisions are made without conscious thought, this is particularly true for routine jobs.

(iii) Although it is an important theory of motivation, but it is quite complex. Many managers, in real organizational situations, do not have the time or the resources to use a complex system at work, it can be said that from a theoretical point of view, this model is a step in the right direction, but from a point of view In practical terms, it does not help the manager to solve the complex motivational problem.

Criticism of Vroom’s expectation theory

Critics of the expectation model include Graen (1969), Lawler (1971), Lawler and Porter (1967), and Porter and Lawler (1968). Their criticisms of the theory were based on the fact that it was too simplistic in nature, these critics began to make adjustments to Vroom’s model.

Edward Lawler claims that the simplicity of the expectation theory is misleading because it assumes that if an employer makes a reward, such as a bonus or financial promotion, attractive enough, the employees will increase their productivity to get the reward, however this alone It works if employees believe that the reward is beneficial to their immediate needs.

For example, a $ 2 increase in salary may not be desirable for an employee if the increase pushes her into a tax bracket where she believes her take-home pay is reduced, which is actually impossible in the United States with caps. marginal taxation. Similarly, a promotion that provides higher status but requires more hours can be a deterrent for an employee who values ​​evening and weekend hours with their children.

In addition to that, if someone is promoted to the armed forces or security agencies, there is a mandatory condition for such promotions, that they will be transferred to other locations. In such cases, if the new place is far from their permanent residence, where their family resides, they will not be motivated by such promotions, and the results will be the other way around, because the result that this reward (promotion) will yield cannot be valued by those who they receive it.

Lawler’s new proposal for expectation theory does not go against Vroom’s theory, Lawler argues that since there have been a variety of developments of expectation theory since its inception in 1964. Lawler’s new model is based on four claims, firstly, whenever there are a series of outcomes, individuals will generally have a preference between those outcomes, two, there is a belief on the part of that individual that their action (s) will achieve the Desired outcome, three, any desired outcome was generated by the behavior of the individual and finally, the actions generated by the individual were generated by the preferred outcome and the expectation of the individual.

Rather than just looking at expectation and instrumentality, WF Maloney and JM McFillen found that expectation theory could explain the motivation of people working in the construction industry. For example , they used the expectation of workers and instrumentalization, expectation is when supervisors create an equal correspondence between the worker and their work, instrumentalization is when an employee knows that any increase in their performance leads them to achieve their goal.

Georgia Tarrant
 | Website

Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.