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Keeping people focussed on their work and willing to make a positive contribution to the company is an important role of management. Define motivation and briefly describe expectancy theory.

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation is a commonly used term in business practices in a dynamic and temporal state that forces an individual to work in a better way and to improve performance accordingly. The process of motivation involves drives, needs, and goals. Need is the most responsible feature behind the actions of a man. Opportunities, better pay, recognition and promotions are some needs of an individual, which are used as motivators to motivate the employees at the workplace (Shahzadi et al, 2014).

This is a well-known fact that all organizations are trusting in their employees for the continuous growth and survival of their business. Employees are the key factors behind the sustainable growth of the company and thus, is the thee main responsibility of the management to motivate them to improve their efficiency and performance at the workplace. Motivation can also be defined as a process for an individual's direction, persistence, and intensity towards the attainment of objectives. Motivation is the mother of all actions and human behavior performed by employees in their day to day practices (Malik, Butt and Choi, 2015)

It is derived from the word ‘motive’ which indicated desires, needs and wants within the employees and individuals. In the business context, the factors that can motivate an employee are:

  • Monetary Rewards
  • Recognition
  • Success
  • Job-satisfaction
  • Promotion
  • Appraisals (Afzal et al, 2010)
  • It is a psychological sensation. Berelson and Steiner stated motive as an inner state that activates, moves and then directs the behavior of individuals towards goals.
  • The needs and wants of a human being are continuous in nature and thus satisfaction of those needs creates the need for motivation. Thus the motivation needs in totality as per the interrelated needs.
  • The level of performance depends upon the motivation. If an employee is disturbed due to some reason and is not able to perform well then he is required to get motivation from his manager or team leader to perform well.
  • It is one of the most wanted characteristics of a leader (Morgenroth, Ryan, and Peters, 2015)

The effect of motivation on the performance of employees can be understood with the help of below-mentioned points:

  • It helps in developing a positive point of view towards the critical situation and provides guidance to work in a right manner.
  • Motivators like promotion and monetary rewards motivate the employees to achieve their goals.
  • The increasing performance of employees leads to the development of professional and personal behavior of employees.
  • The motivation techniques help in increasing the satisfaction level of employees which ultimately leads to enhancing the productivity of employees.
  • The employees feel valued by the organization if they are motivated from time to time by their managers to perform better (Mostafa, Gould?Williams and Bottomley, 2015)

There are a number of theories which can be implied by the organization to motivate the employees. The two main theories can be discussed as below:

The expectancy of motivation is given by Vroom. This theory assumes that the performance of employees is based on skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities. Vroom states that motivation, effort, and performance are linked to an individual's motivation. This theory uses variables Instrumentality, Expectancy and Valence to prove the same.

Expectancy can be defined as a belief that efforts may lead to increase in performance and is affected by the availability of right resources, right skills, correct information and support from the supervisor in form of motivation and guidance (Magidson, 2014).

Instrumentality can be described as a belief to receive a valued outcome. The relations between performance and outcome, transparency and the trust among employees affect this aspect.

Valence is considered as an importance of the outcome of an individual. An employee is required to attain the outcome for getting the positive valence.

This theory seems to be most appropriate for a traditional attitude work situation where motivators depend upon the attitude of the employee towards doing a good job and getting rewards.

Effects of Motivation

However, this theory can be applied to any situation where a person performs his/her duty expecting rewards for the same. Thus, the expectancy theory of motivation is about the associations of individuals towards the expected outcomes and contribution that they are willing to make to achieve those outcomes (Mdhuka and Okafor, 2014).

This theory states that management is required to set complex, effective and achievable goals to boost the performance and to motivate the employees to achieve the goals.

The motivational goals determined by the management is required to have the following dimensions like challenge, clarity, commitment, complexity, and feedback. Goals need to measurable and clear like ‘the goal of the operation manager is to reduce the downtime by 20 percent. The goals must be challenging enough for enhancing knowledge of the employees. Along with the commitment of employees is a major part of the goal setting process, which largely depends upon the clarity of goals (Lazaroiu, 2015).

If an organization applied this theory, then the management would also need to prepare a plan to guide the employees for the attainment of goals. Communicating about the goals is not enough to motivate the employees and this may result in the negative impact of felling overburdened etc (Ismajli et al, 2015).

Motivation is not required only during the professional carrier, but it is the main aspect that helps a human being at every stage of life including academic carrier too.

Students feel intrinsically motivated if they enjoy or love their work even if there is not any incentive or reward for it. If they do not enjoy their work and still do the same because of incentive and reward then they tend to feel motivated extrinsically. Teachers and professors encourage intrinsic motivation as it provides knowledge and information that can be helpful for the students in long run. There are some actions that can be used for evaluating the intrinsic motivation includes focusing on their capabilities and interests, goal setting, enhancing their curiosity and make sure that if they are really learning during the process or not (Friedman and Mandel, 2009).

It helps in uplifting the enthusiasm of employees about the activities and works presented to them. Once they are motivated to achieve something by doing that activity, they will automatically put their full efforts, time, knowledge and energy to complete the same. In this way, motivation helps the students to become persistent in achieving goals and objectives with determination and dedication.

Theories of Motivation

Motivating an individual on the basis of behavioral issues might be hard But it would help the mentor or teacher to transform his/her negative behavior into positive ones. The best way to deal with this problem is to design the motivational techniques in such a way so that an individual can access and rely on its benefits.

The factors such as rules of the school and college, behavior of management towards the academic life of students and student perspective towards the completion of given tasks and activities impact the techniques of motivation used by the teachers to motivate the students.

Motivation works as a fundamental recipe for the academic success. It involves external and internal factors that stimulate energy and desire in students to be continuously committed and interested towards education, knowledge, subject and making efforts for the attainment of goals. The students having sufficient motivation tends to have an edge because of having adaptive strategies and attitudes including goal setting, self-monitoring etc. Along with this, motivational variables interact with contextual, behavioral and cognitive factors to affect self-regulation techniques (Muhammad et al, 2015).

Motivational values are required for the academic achievement of students as they help to regulate the extent to which a student will put efforts, consider and show efforts in the task. For example, self-efficiency controls the way of learning, thinking and motivating by the individuals (Leeuw et al, 2015).

The expectancy theory of motivation has helped me a lot in improving my performance during my academic carrier. My professor used to set the target for all the students regarding completion of projects and assignments, completion of syllabus and revision of all the modules before examination. They also used to guide me well about how to study and prepare for exams. The expectations of my professors and goals provided by them helped me a lot in performing better and increasing my grades during the final examinations. I started to complete all the tasks on time and became very organized in day-to-day life and during the exam days. The motivation is form of guidance helped me a lot and never let down my morale to act in a negative manner towards the management and other students of the university.

On the basis of above discussion, it can be concluded that motivation works as a key factor to boost the performance of employees and thus to increase the profitability of the organization. The main effects of the performance of employees are described above to provide a brief understanding of the importance of motivation. Along with this, the theories of motivation including expectancy and goal setting theory have been described to link their applicability to the various situations in the workplace. This essay also concludes that motivation is not only required while doing a job, but the individuals are required to be motivated at every stage of life including their academic carrier. However, the techniques and motivators can be different but the ultimate result is the same that is the increase in performance in form of results. The role of motivation is similar in the life of all individuals irrespective of their age and profession. It helps is developing certain qualities like persistence, determination, and commitment towards the work.


Afzal, H., Ali, I., Aslam Khan, M. and Hamid, K. (2010) A study of university students’ motivation and its relationship with their academic performance. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(4), pp.80-88.

De Leeuw, A., Valois, P., Ajzen, I. and Schmidt, P., (2015) Using the theory of planned behavior to identify key beliefs underlying pro-environmental behavior in high-school students: Implications for educational interventions. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 42, pp.128-138.

Friedman, B.A. and Mandel, R.G. (2009) The prediction of college student academic performance and retention: Application of expectancy and goal setting theories. Journal of college student retention: Research, theory & practice, 11(2), pp.227-246.

Ismajli, N., Zekiri, J., Qosja, E. and Krasniqi, I., (2015) The Importance of Motivation Factors on Employee Performance in Kosovo Municipalities. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 5(1), pp.23-39.

Lazaroiu, G., (2015) Work motivation and organizational behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, 7(2), p.66.

Maduka, C.E. and Okafor, O., (2014) Effect of motivation on employee productivity: A study of manufacturing companies in Nnewi. International Journal of Managerial Studies and Research (IJMSR), 2(7), pp.137-147.

Magidson, J.F., Roberts, B.W., Collado-Rodriguez, A., and Lejuez, C.W., (2014) Theory-driven intervention for changing personality: Expectancy-value theory, behavioral activation, and conscientiousness. Developmental psychology, 50(5), p.1442.

Malik, M.A.R., Butt, A.N. and Choi, J.N., (2015) Rewards and employee creative performance: Moderating effects of creative self?efficacy, reward importance, and locus of control. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(1), pp.59-74.

Morgenroth, T., Ryan, M.K. and Peters, K., (2015) The motivational theory of role modeling: How role models influence role aspirants’ goals. Review of General Psychology, 19(4), p.465.

Mostafa, A.M.S., Gould?Williams, J.S. and Bottomley, P., (2015) High?performance human resource practices and employee outcomes: the mediating role of public service motivation. Public Administration Review, 75(5), pp.747-757.

Muhammad, A.S., Bakar, N.A., Mijinyawa, S.I. and Halabi, K.A., (2015) Impact of motivation on students’ academic performance: A case study of Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin students. The American Journal of Innovative Research and Applied Sciences, 1(6), pp.221-226.

Shahzadi, I., Javed, A., Pirzada, S.S., Nasreen, S. and Khanam, F., (2014) Impact of employee motivation on employee performance. European Journal of Business and Management, 6(23), pp.159-166.

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