Expectancy vs. Goal Setting Theories
We can thank Victor Vroom for the expectancy theory first written about in his book Work and Motivation (1964). Basically the theory states, a worker expects to receive (reward, pay) for efforts produced. The rewards, wages, or incentives are usually agreed upon by the employer and employee.
As the theory goes, if the employee wants the end result, he will be motivated to work for it.
Goal setting works a little differently. A salesperson, for example, may be told to achieve a reward above normal salaries or wages; he must meet the set goal. He may be told if he sells 20 units, he’ll receive standard wages, but once he hits 21 and above, the incentives (wages) increase. In today’s world, this theory supposedly motivates the employee to work harder to gain more money as the end result.
So, which works better, the expectancy versus goal-setting theory? As a business owner for over 16 years, I think the answer to that question is—it depends on the employee.
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