Expectancy Theory


Expectancy theory is one of the most influential theories of motivation in business psychology. The concept explains the strengths and weaknesses of the theory in a business context and the steps required to implement the theory for better workforce performance.

Technique Overview

Expectancy Theory

Expectancy Theory Definition

Expectancy theory describes the extent to which an individual is likely to pursue a certain course of action (motivational force), which is in turn a function of expectancy (a belief that increased effort will produce better performance), x instrumentality (a belief that better performance will lead to certain outcomes), x valence (a belief that the outcome will be desirable) (van Eerde & Thierry, 1996).

Expectancy Theory Description *

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Business Evidence

Expectancy Theory Strengths *

Expectancy Theory Weaknesses *

Examples of Expectancy Theory *

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Business Application

Expectancy Theory Implementation *

Success Factors of Expectancy Theory *

Measures of Expectancy Theory *

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

Expectancy Theory Web Resources *

Expectancy Theory Print Resources *

Expectancy Theory References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Armstrong, M. (2002) Rewarding Individual and Team Contributions and Organisational Performance in Employee Reward, CIPD, London.
  • Gatewood, E. J., Shaver, K. G., Powers, J. B. and Gartner, W. B. (2002) Entrepreneurial Expectancy, Task Effort and Performance, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 27 (2), pp. 187-206.
  • Hackman, J. R. and Oldham, G. R. (1975) Development of the Job Diagnostic Survey, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 60 (2), pp. 159-70.
  • Holton, V. and James, P. (2000) The Development and Motivation of R&D Staff, Ashridge Research, The Leverhulme Foundation.

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