Consider a time when you had the experience of being led by someone who was able to get you to achieve more than you thought you could. Based on what you learned about leadership styles, describe events examining how your selected leader worked by certain principles. In addition, report details of an event demonstrating how you were led to perform.
On the basis of the above scenario, answer the following questions:
- What style did the leader exhibit? Describe events pointing out how your selected leader worked by certain principles.
- Report details of the scenario demonstrating how you were led to perform.
- How did you improve your overall attitude and motivation based on a supportive leader in the workplace?
- Positive influence can help team members develop their skills and knowledge. Do you agree to this statement? Why and how?
- How does working in a positive organization with supportive leadership encourage staff performance at work each day?
- What leadership skills will you take from your positive experience and use when you are in a leadership position?
Now, recall a time when you were led by someone who could not motivate you. Describe events pointing out how your selected leader’s working style made subordinates feel uncomfortable.
On the basis of the above scenario, answer the following questions:
- What style did the leader exhibit? Describe events pointing out your selected leader’s leadership style.
- Report details of the scenario demonstrating how you were led in his or her team.
- How did the manager’s action make you feel? Explain.
- Which leadership behaviors do you think your selected leader lacked? Do you think the leader had ever had a chance to learn about leadership styles?
- How important is it for a leader to be trained to guide and motivate the staff members to enhance team unity, enthusiasm, and positive attitudes?
- What role should the individual staff member have to motivate himself or herself instead of relying on a manager?
One widely cited theory of motivation is Victor Vroom’s (1964) Expectancy Theory (also referred to as the VIE Theory). Expectancy Theory suggests that for any given situation, the level of a person’s motivation (force in Vroom’s conceptualization) with respect to performance is dependent upon (1) his or her desire for an outcome; (2) the perception that individual’s job performance is related to obtaining other desired outcomes; and (3) the perceived probability that his or her effort will lead to the required performance. The theory may be expressed as M = V × I × E (see Figure 6–1).
Vroom (1964) explains that the force that drives a person to perform is dependent upon three factors: valence, instrumentality, and expectancy (pp. 15–19).
Valence is the strength of an individual’s want or need, or dislike, for a particular outcome. An outcome has a positive valence when the person prefers attaining it to not attaining it, a valence of zero when the person is indifferent to attaining or not attaining it, and a negative valence when the person prefers not attaining it to attaining it. As such, valence can have a wide range of both positive and negative values. The strength of a person’s desire for, or aversion to, an outcome is based on the intrinsic properties of an outcome that are valued or not (a second-level outcome in Vroom’s conceptualization), and/or on the anticipated satisfaction or dissatisfaction associated with other outcomes that are related to any given outcome (a first-level outcome in Vroom’s conceptualization). For example, some workers may value an opportunity for promotion or advancement because of their need for achievement. (One outcome, advancement, is positively related to or instrumental with respect to achieving another outcome—achievement.) Others may not want the promotion because it would require additional time commitment and, therefore, less time for family or friends. (One outcome, advancement, is negatively related to or instrumental with respect to another outcome—need for affiliation.)
Figure 6–1 Vroom’s Expectancy Theory (VIE)
Instrumentality is an individual’s perception that his or her performance is related to other outcomes, either positively or negatively. It is an outcome–outcome association. In other words, an individual will perform in a certain manner because he or she believes that behavior will be rewarded with something that has value to the individual. For example, a person believes that by producing both high-quality and -quantity work, it will result in recognition (e.g., praise or bonus) or a promotion from his or her supervisor.
Expectancy is an individual’s perception that his or her effort will positively influence his or her performance. It is an action–outcome association. It can be defined as a momentary belief concerning the likelihood that a particular act (effort) will be followed by a particular outcome (performance). Expectancies can be described in terms of their strength. Maximal strength is indicated by subjective certainty that the act will be followed by the outcome, while minimal (or zero) strength is indicated by subjective certainty that the act will not be followed by the outcome. For example, an individual perceives that if he or she works overtime, the management report will be completed by the deadline (maximal strength). However, if the employee perceives the deadline to be unrealistic and not obtainable because of the time required to complete the report, the expectancy strength is minimal.
Newsom (1990) summarized Expectancy Theory with what he termed the “Nine Cs”:
- 1. Challenge: Does the individual have to work hard to perform the job well? Managers need to review an employee’s job design. Is it routine and unchallenging? Does the job incorporate Herzberg’s motivators (see Chapter 5)?
- 2. Criteria: Does he or she know the difference between good and poor performance? Managers need to effectively communicate to an employee the responsibilities and/or requirements of the task and how the employee will be measured as to its successful completion. A manager should not assume that an employee knows the criteria for performing satisfactorily. In addition, managers need to provide feedback so an employee is aware of what he or she is doing right and what needs to be improved.
- 3. Compensation: Do the outcomes associated with good performance reward the individual? Nadler and Lawler (1983) discussed the mixed message an organization sends to employees when employees are rewarded for seniority rather than performance. What the organization gets is behavior oriented toward safe, secure employment rather than efforts directed at performing well.
- 4. Capability: Does the individual have the ability to perform the job well? Employees who lack the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to perform a task well will become frustrated and avoid future growth opportunities.
- 5. Confidence: Does the individual believe he or she can perform the job well? Employees need to believe that they can perform a task well. Although an employee may have the knowledge and skill, he or she may not see himself or herself with the ability to perform the task well. This may be based on past experiences of failure.
- 6. Credibility: Does the individual believe that management will deliver on promises? Managers must deliver what they promised.
- 7. Consistency: Does the individual believe that all workers receive similar preferred outcomes for good performance and similar less preferred outcomes for poor performance? Managers need to treat all employees equally, on the basis of objective criteria.
- 8. Cost: What does it cost an individual in time and effort to perform well?
- 9. Communication: Does management communicate well and consistently with the individual in order to affect the other eight Cs? Managers need to set clear goals and provide the right rewards for different people. (See Figure 6–2.)
For managers, Expectancy Theory is very useful because it helps to understand a worker’s behavior. If employees lack motivation, it may be caused by their indifference toward, or desire to avoid, the existing outcomes. Expectancy Theory is based on the assumption that individuals calculate the “costs and benefits” in choosing among alternative behavioral actions. So the important question for managers to ask is, “What rewards (outcomes) do my employees value?” (See Case Study 6–1: Why Aren’t My Employees Motivated?)
Figure 6–2 Application of Expectancy Theory Using Newsom’s Nine Cs
Case Study 6–1 Why Aren’t My Employees Motivated?
Roger Harris is the founder and managing partner of a large health management consulting firm that specializes in strategic planning for hospitals. The firm has six partners, including Roger, and 20 professional staff (all with graduate degrees in health administration). The staff is evenly divided between males and females, single and married individuals between 25 to 35 years old. Of the 10 married, two spouses work outside the home. All the married individuals have families of at least two children and all children are under 10 years old.
The philosophy of the firm is to serve the needs of its client and have fun serving those needs all while making a profit. Because of the tight labor market, the firm’s salaries for its professional staff are well above the market in order to attract and retain the best talent. In addition, each employee has a private office, breakfast served daily, free weekly car washes, and his or her dry cleaning delivered to the office. The firm also offers the staff home computers if they prefer to work at home on weekends during the firm’s busy time, which usually runs from October to May.
During this period, staff are required to work approximately 55 to 60 hours per week. Staff receive two weeks’ vacation annually, in addition to one week for continuing professional education and one week personal time, which is utilized by 100 percent of the staff.
Roger Harris is concerned because, although partners’ billable hours (i.e., hourly rates charged to clients for services rendered) have increased 12 percent over the last two years, the staff’s billable hours have decreased by 14 percent. In addition, Roger Harris noted that the turnover rate (i.e., percentage of the newly hired graduates that stay with the firm for approximately three to four years before taking a position in one of their client’s hospitals) has increased to 50 percent (from 10 percent five years earlier).
In order to increase the firm’s productivity and retention rate, Roger Harris initiated a bonus program as follows:
If a staff member bills out 2,000 hours annually, he or she receives a bonus equal to 5 percent of his or her annual salary. For every hour billed over the minimum 2,000 hours, the employee is paid twice the hourly rate.
All employees earned their 5 percent bonus, but no one’s productivity increased over the minimum 2,000 hours base.
Roger Harris is quite concerned by this lowering productivity and increasing turnover rate. Thinking that the staff needed outside professional recognition, he encouraged everyone to publish articles for the various health management journals discussing aspects of their most interesting cases. All the staff displayed their willingness to do so, as long as the time required to develop the articles would be applied toward their minimum 2,000 hours’ bonus calculation.
Roger Harris related to staff that anyone who demonstrated technical competence and the ability to attract and retain clients to the firm has the opportunity to become a partner. Even though individuals from the outside filled the last two senior management-level positions, four of the six partners were promoted from within (after 8 to 10 years of continuous employment with the firm). However, the most recent promotion to partner was made to an individual hired from the outside after only three years of employment with the firm.
Roger Harris thinks that the consulting firm is a great place to work with interesting and challenging cases, an excellent compensation package, and growth opportunity. Therefore, he cannot understand why staff’s productivity continues to decline and the turnover rate continues to increase.
Using Expectancy Theory, explain to Roger Harris why nonpartner productivity level is low and why the firm is experiencing a high turnover rate with its professional staff.
J. Stacy Adams (1963, 1965) proposed his Equity Theory, stating that a person evaluates his or her outcomes and inputs by comparing them with those of others. Adams’ theory is based in the social-exchange theories that center on two assumptions. First, that there is a similarity between the process through which individuals evaluate their social relationships and economic transactions in the market. Social relationships can be viewed as exchange processes in which individuals make contributions (investments) for which they expect certain outcomes (Mowday, 1983). The second assumption concerns the process through which individuals decide whether a particular exchange is satisfactory. If there is relative equality between the outcomes and contributions of both parties to an exchange, satisfaction is likely to result from the interaction (Mowday, 1983). If an inequality is perceived, then dissatisfaction occurs, which triggers an internal tension within one or more of the individuals.
The two major components in Equity Theory are inputs and outcomes. Inputs are defined as those things a person contributes to an exchange. In the workplace, an employee’s inputs would be experience, education, efforts, skills, and abilities. Outcomes are those things that result from the exchange, such as salary, bonuses, promotions, and recognition. Adams states that equity exists when the ratio of a person’s outcomes to inputs is equal to the ratio of others’ outcomes and inputs (see Figure 6–3).
Several important aspects of Adams’ theory are noted. First, the determination of whether inequity exists is based on the individual’s perceptions of input and outcomes, which may or may not be reality. Second, inequity will not exist if the person has high inputs and low outputs, as long as the other person has the similar ratio. Third, inequity exists when a person is either underpaid or overpaid. For example, if employees perceive they are overcompensated, they may increase their level of productivity. If employees perceive they are undercompensated, they may either decrease their level of productivity or attempt to obtain additional compensation.