Expectancy theory in the public and private sector helps leaders predict behavior, better manage people, and serve customers.
By Mark D, Harris
Managers, coaches, politicians, teachers, and other leaders have tried to discover why people do what they do. Motivating followers, and oneself, to accomplish personal and organizational goals is challenging in the best of times and impossible in the worst. Cafferky (2017) reviewed management and leadership theories in light of Christian scriptures, discussing motivational theories, sources of power, and influence tactics. He felt that the Theory of Behaviorism, that motivation depends on rewards and punishments, explained Saul’s intentions when he honored David for fighting Goliath (1 Samuel 19). Cafferky suggested that an excellent biblical example of the Need Hierarchy Theory, that lower order needs must be met before higher order ones, occurred in Job.
Expectancy Theory (ET) argues that effort leads to performance which then leads to a reward. ET begins with expectancy, which is the amount of work that an individual expects to invest towards achieving an outcome. ET then considers valence, the degree of value that an individual attaches to the outcome. Finally, ET mentions instrumentality, the belief that an individual can attain his goal (Zboja et al., 2020). Mathematically, the Motivational Force = Expectancy x Instrumentality x Valence (Kiatkawsin & Han, 2017).