In-Depth Summary of Expectancy Theory Essay

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In-Depth Summary of Expectancy Theory

In today’s organization, there is a need for ways in which to effectively motivate employees. Expectancy theory addresses the underlying issues that are associated with the belief that a performance or outcome is attainable. Developed initially by Edward Tolman and Kurt Levin, introduction of the theory into the workplace was not achieved until quite some time later by Victor Vroom (Bradt, 1996). It is his first utilization of the theory that enabled others to develop and recognize the potential the theory played in motivating individuals. This essay will address not only the fundamental mechanics behind expectancy theory, but also how it can be correlated with education, performance appraisals,
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Therefore, they assign a very low probability. A study conducted in 1906 in a bottling plant in Mississippi attempted to introduce basic education to illiterate workers and measure their latter performance and motivation.

The study began by administering a basic skills test to all employees, which involved reading, writing, and self-esteem. In formulating the data careful attention was placed on the correlation between level of skills, self-esteem, and the department in which the employee worked. Researchers then designed a basic skill education class (BSE), which provided enhancement and positive reinforcement for learning (Clinton, 1998). Almost a year later, after completion of the class, another test was administered and results were formulated.

Researchers found that the employees actually varied in levels of self-esteem based upon their department and relevance of the skills learned to their jobs. For example, forklift drivers were found to have little change in motivation and self-esteem while production workers had a very high change. The production workers were able to better utilize their newly learned skills through assessment of production numbers, assigning output from machines, and determining how to meet quotas for the day. In contrast, forklift drivers found little relationship between their newly learned knowledge and probability assignment, and therefore had little to no change. Scientists thus concluded that there is a
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