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Evaluate to What Extent Expectancy Theory and Goal Theory Can Explain Motivation at Work

Decent Essays
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
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