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Evaluate To What Extent A) Expectancy Theory And B) Goal Theory Can Explain Motivation At Work.

863 words - 4 pages

To commence, this essay will explore how the different aspects of expectancy theory and goal theory explain motivation within the workplace. Vroom and Locke crafted these theories to understand the deeper significance of motivation. This analysis will not only encompass the juxtaposing concepts, but also the resemblance of the philosophies put in place by the academics. These models are known as process theories of motivation, this emphasises the immediate connexion the two engage as they both contain decision-making responsibilities. The question being asked is to what extent can the ideas being used justify motivation at work.

Victor Harold Vroom developed the first expectancy theory of work motivation. This theory involves three principles, valence, instrumentality, and expectancy (Vroom, 1964). Valence is the value that is put on the anticipated result; a personal aim would be a paradigm of valence. Instrumentality is the belief that success will lead to the preferred product. Lastly, expectancy is the belief that accomplishment is possible. In comparison, Edwin Locke formulated the goal theory. The methodology behind this is performance related; Locke claims that ‘challenging goals, specific goals, participation and knowledge of results’ (Locke and Latham, 1990) all play a part in producing a higher performance level.

Vroom’s expectancy theory has several advantages and disadvantages. When reviewing the system, the negatives outweigh the positives; it is such a universally established theory for describing an individual’s managerial manner as well as the on-going research that supports decision-making hypotheses, suggested by expectancy theory (, 2012). In addition, the drawbacks that come with the notion are surely identifiable especially because Vroom never contemplated the emotional mind-set of a person. It doesn’t account for someone’s attributes and this would play a critical role on the result of the concept’s efficiency. The expectancy theory is opinion constructed, for a manager it is up to them to plan what is required to achieve successful motivation techniques for an employee to be rewarded. Finally, it is a struggle to incorporate this in a group setting, as it never recognised this type of scenario.

Moreover, Locke’s goal theory also has its benefits and limitations. Many infer that the positives of the theory are set out, Latham; an intellectual closely related to Locke has found that setting goals encourages entities and is an important factor for self-management. From a psychosomatic perspective it gives a person a sense of pride resulting in them working harder to achieve more from their occupation, likelihood is that there will be an enhancement in their pay...

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