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Expectancy and Reinforcement Theories of Motivation

Expectancy and reinforcement theories of motivation

Motivation is the process by which a person’s efforts are energized, directed, and sustained towards attaining a goal. The measure of intensity or drive constitutes the energy element. These efforts need to be utilized in a way that is beneficial to organization. Finally, motivation includes a persistence dimension in that employees need to persist in putting forth effort to achieve goals (Salkind, 2006). Managers must deal with groups such as: a diverse workforce with flexibility; offering challenges and support to professionals; availing opportunities for full-time work or education to contingent workers and using employee recognition programs to low-skilled, minimum wage workers (DuBrin, 2002).

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Motivation is the force that causes people to act in certain ways.. People can be motivated by very different factors in a workplace, making motivation a challenge for managers (Sengupta, Whitfield, & McNabb, 2007). High morale is a result of satisfying an employee’s needs, such as for recognition or for financial security. Modern theories of motivation endeavor to enlighten why or how inspiration develops, instead of simply ascertaining what motivates people.

Expectancy Theory

Vroom’s (1964) Expectancy theory defines expectancy as the extent to which one considers that increased attempts will result in a preferred outcomes. Expectancy is an assessment by a person about the likelihood of achieving a result if they try. Consequently, if people decide that by exerting efforts towards achieving a task, then it is probable that he will carry out that task, he/she has an elevated level of expectancy. On the other hand, if the person deems that applying effort in the course of such an realization will not lead to its success, than the individual’s expectancy is low. The next factor is tagged instrumentality. This is classified as the worker’s conviction in whether or not attainment of goals will produce particular outcomes. If workers believe that by achieving goals they will be compensated, then they have a soaring level of instrumentality. The other factor is called valance, and is the level to which the worker sees the importance of the outcomes resulting from their goal achievement. Increasing the significance of the rewards foreseen will lead to better valence (Muchinsky, 2000). Empirical research has supported this theory (Vroom, 1964).

Most recently it takes more than a first-rate salary to motivate workers. to a greater extent companies are using a multiplicity of methods to motivate. For instance job improvement, behavior variation, flextime, recreational opportunities and job distribution, staff empowerment, and worker’s ownership (Salkind, 2006).

Reinforcement Theory

The theory proposes that inspiration is a product of the association between a reaction and its reward. The response is an elicited action, and the reward is an object of value awarded for a behavior (Skinner, 1974). For instance, if a worker delays in the office to complete an urgent project, the organization can promote the member of staff to a senior paying spot for his commitment.

Additionally this theory proposed schedules of reinforcement. These are systems used to decide when to offer rewards to an employee. E.g. a fixed ratio, where the staff would be rewarded for behaviors after a predetermined number of activities is elicited. This may also involve rewarding the employees after a specific period, e.g. at the end of the year (Skinner, 1974).

Other Theories

As an alternative to the use of pay as a supposed motivator, Coens and Jenkins (2002) propose companies should foster the most excellent opportunities for employees to be motivated. Sequentially to create a highly motivated workforce, Coens and Jenkins (2002) recommend the following: “create a compelling vision, promote and provide interesting work, and create a climate of teamwork” (p. 181).

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Frederick Herzberg’s argued that the issues on the job that create positive feelings are dissimilar to those that create negative approaches (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Supervisor relations, working conditions and hygiene in the workplace all affect the satisfaction of employees in the workplace. It is the responsibility of managers to provide a suitable working environment, and make the work interesting to enhance workers motivation.

Adam’s equity theory (1963) suggested that staff usually compare themselves with other workers to assess if their situations are the same. If the environments and working conditions are varied among employees then they attempt to correct the inequitable situation. Leadership plays a key role in motivation of staff through financial, self-image awards as well as positive evaluations (Murphy, 2005). Chan & Chan (2005) explained motivation as the capacity of managers to inspire and encourage staff by constructing self-assurance as well as exciting interest and willpower in a group.

Reference List

Adams, J. S. (1963). Toward an understanding of inequity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 67, 422-436.

Coens, T., & Jenkins, M. (2002). Abolishing performance appraisals: Why they backfire and what to do instead. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Chan, A., & Chan, E. (2005). Impact of Perceived Leadership Styles on Work Outcomes: Case of Building Professionals. Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, 131(4), 413-422. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733- 9364(2005)131:4(413).

DuBrin, A. J. (2002). Fundamentals of organizational behavior. Australia: South- Western Thomson Learning.

Helms, M.M. (2006). Encyclopedia of Management. [Motivation and Motivation Theory.]. eNotes.com. Web.

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Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1959). The motivation to work. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Muchinsky, P.M. (2000). Psychology Applied to Work (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Murphy, L. (2005). Transformational leadership: a cascading chain reaction. Journal of Nursing Management, 13(2), 128-136. doi:10.1111/j.1365 2934.2005.00458.x.

Salkind, N. J. (2006). Encyclopedia of human development. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

Sengupta, S., Whitfield, K., & McNabb, B. (2007). Employee share ownership and performance: golden path or golden handcuffs? The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 8, 1507-1538.

Skinner, B. F., (1974). About Behaviorism. Oxford, England: Alfred A. Knopf.

Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and Motivation. New York: Wiley.

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