Another motivation theory that provides us with another barrier to motivation is the Expectancy Theory. It is a famous theory, which outlines another way in which an employee may not be able to get motivated. According to the expectancy theory, a person will work towards a higher purpose only if they feel that they have a chance of achieving that purpose (Seo, Barrett and Bartunek, 2004, 425).
This means that their motivation will spring from the fact that they perceive the goal they are working towards to be attainable through the actions they are performing to attain it. The person will find the task to have ‘instrumentality’ if they think that their actions are sure to lead to the desired outcome. In practical terms, this means that an employee will only work hard at his or her job, if he or she feels that their hard work is going to lead to the outcome they desire, whether it is a raise or a promotion. Apart from this, they will find their job to contain ‘valence’, if they believe that they do have the ability to attain the desired goal by working hard enough. That is, they need to believe that their efforts will not be in vain if they do take the pains of working that hard. Instrumentality and valence are the two key factors, which the expectancy theory consists off, and the theory suggests that the absence of these factors can act as a barrier to the motivation process in a workforce (Drucker, 2007, 242).
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