Expectancy Theory: Process-Based Approach To Motivation

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Register to read the introduction… This approach is concerned not about the ordering of needs but rather about the needs themselves. David McCleland first identified the need for achievement, which reflects an individual's desire to do something more effectively than in the past. The need for power is the desire to be influential in a group and to control one's environment.


These approaches to motivation are concerned with how motivation takes place. They focus on why people choose certain behavioral options to fulfil their needs and how they evaluate their satisfaction after they have attained their goals. Two useful process-based approaches are expectancy theory and equity theory.

Expectancy Theory.

Expectancy theory suggests that motivation is based on how much we want something and how likely we think we are to get it.

The formal framework of expectancy theory was developed by Victor Vroom. This framework states basically that motivation plus effort leads to performance, which then leads to outcomes.

According to this theory, three conditions must be met for individuals to exhibit motivated behavior:

effort-to-performance expectancy must be greater than zero; performance-to-outcome expectancy must also be greater than zero;
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Employees often misperceive the rewards received by others. The system recognizes that different people have different needs and choose different ways to satisfy those needs. Performance-based systems:

Organizational reward systems have traditionally either a fixed salary or hourly rate system or an incentive system. Fixed rewards can be tied directly to performance through merit pay systems, whereby people get different pay raises at the end of the year, depending on their overall job performance. Many organizations are experimenting with various kinds of incentive systems, which attempt to reward employees in proportion to their accomplishments. Four popular incentive systems include profit sharing, gain sharing, lump-sum bonuses, and pay for knowledge.

interventions for enhancing motivation.

Three motivational interventions are behavior modification, the modified workweek, and work redesign.

Behavior modification is a technique for applying the concepts of reinforcement theory in organizational

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