Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory
MGT 375: Employee Training
Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory states that employees ae motivate to act when there
is some sort of incentive for achieving their goals. Goals can be personal, professional or both.
Vrooms theory is one of the process theories of motivation of people working within
organizations. This theory can cause both self-motivation and drive competition among
employees. Motivation has been described as psychology management. (Matsumoto, 2009)
Vroom believes if an employee is motivated by the things that motivate them personally and
professionally they will excel within the organization. Working with the employee to ensure they
are motivated by tailoring the compensation of motivation to the specific employee will result in
an employee’s happiness, stability and longevity within the organization.
The Expectancy theory is based on four presumptions of: (1) people enter into
organizations with prerequisites regarding incentives and what they’ve learned from previous
experiences, (2) a person’s behavior is a deliberate choice of how they want to perform, (3)
employees expect certain things from the organization in which they are employed such as
competitive salary, job security, career advancement, etc. (4) if compensated to the employees
satisfaction, there output will reflect either satisfactory or exceed expectations. (LĂZĂROIU,
2015). Simply stated, if the employee is motivated at the level they think is satisfactory, the
employee will base their performance output on how they are compensated. Vroom claims that a
person consciously chooses what they will do to motivate their performance. Something has to
motivate the employee personally or professionally for them to perform at their peak. In step
one, the employee will use their bargaining rights prior to accepting employment with the
organization when they are offered the position they applied for. So if they seek a specific type
of compensation such as salary or an incentive, they will discuss and negotiate prior to accepting
the offer. This way the employees motivation is even more secure because they had a hand in
deciding their compensation which motivates them even more by having that flexibility. Even if
they might not get what they asked for in wages, they might be able to negotiate an incentive
plan that motivates them and compensates for the salary. These are things they’ve learned from
their previous employment that they will apply going forward. The employee has learned they
must ask upfront instead of joining an organization and getting them to modify compensation as
they agreed what compensation would be prior to accepting the offer.
The second theory pertains to a person choosing how to perform. If the employee doesn’t
feel that the compensation they receive doesn’t not reflect going above and beyond expectations,
the employee will do just enough to be compensated at their particular paygrade. This is a clear
example of the employee making a conscious decision to perform at a specific output level. It
will not exceed expectations because they aren’t motivated to do so. Within the third
expectation, an employee wants the organization to always remain competitive with their salary,
job security and career advancement. Employees charge the organization to reassess these things
within the employees tenor with the company. If the organization does not respond to these
motivating factors, the employee becomes demotivated and will perform at just a satisfactory
lever and/or start seeking other employment opportunities. The last method is based on the
thoughts of how the organization has decided to compensate the employee. At that time this
motivates the employees output or work ethic. If they agree with the compensation that they are
receiving and have a potential to earn levels of compensation, this will motivate the employees
performance even more. They will continue to challenge themselves personally and
professionally to exceed expectations based on the compensation that motivates them and their
Kopp (2014) refers to the measure of valence, which is the “individuals will decide to
behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated due to the value (valence) they place
on a certain outcome occurring.” (sec. 2.2, para. 36) This states if certain goals and incentives
are put in place to motivate individual performance, you will receive the maximum output from
them. The theory promotes a mutual understanding within the organization and the employee.
An employee can often refer to the said incentive structure to self-motivate and keep them
engaged. Although it isn’t realistic to assume company’s have the ability to individualize each
employees compensation plan, managers do have the ability to tap into each employees thought
process of what compensation is. As leaders, the compensation program should be discussed
with each individual and information that they have obtained from the employee during
development sessions should be referenced to tailor the compensation plan specifically to their
motivation. For example, if part of a compensation includes a quantity of something to be
performed, the leader should tap into that factor and relate it to a specific skill and motivation
described by an employee. This conversation would review the need for expectations tying into
their specific performance. Such as there are x amount of partnership meetings required per
month. However, for you to exceed the expectations, you’d need to perform x amount of
partnership meetings. Tying this to the employees individual desires will be a win win for all.
Since x amount of partnership meetings are required, the leader should showcase how those
meetings directly affect the positive performance of the group and therefore increasing the
partnership meetings should also produce additional positive results regarding team performance
and they are incentivized for completing additional meetings. This speaks to what the company
would like to obtain and how the employee can obtain personal and professional gains. This also
encourages a decreased turnover rate. If an employee is happy with their compensation, job
function and the ability to progress within the company, that employee will remain loyal to the
International Research Journal of Business and Management (2014).Volume No – VII Issue – 9 Retrieved from: http://irjbm.org/irjbm2013/Sep2014/Paper1.pdf
Kopp, D. M. (2014). Human resource development: Performance improvement through learning [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://ashford.content.edu
LĂZĂROIU, G. (2015). Work Motivation and Organizational Behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice, 7(2), 66–75.
Matsumoto, D. (2009). The Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology, Cambridge University Press, p.319
SUCIU, L.-E., MORTAN, M., & LAZĂR, L. (2013). Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. An Empirical Study: Civil Servant’s Performance Appraisal Influencing Expectancy. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences, 39, 180–200.
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