Vroom Model of Expectancy Theory

Vroom’s Model of Expectancy Theory

MGT 375: Employee Training

Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory states that employees ae motivate to act when there

is some sort of incentive for achieving their goals. Goals can be personal, professional or both.

Vrooms theory is one of the process theories of motivation of people working within

organizations.  This theory can cause both self-motivation and drive competition among

employees.  Motivation has been described as psychology management. (Matsumoto, 2009) 

Vroom believes if an employee is motivated by the things that motivate them personally and

professionally they will excel within the organization. Working with the employee to ensure they

are motivated by tailoring the compensation of motivation to the specific employee will result in

an employee’s happiness, stability and longevity within the organization.   

The Expectancy theory is based on four presumptions of: (1) people enter into

organizations with prerequisites regarding incentives and what they’ve learned from previous

experiences, (2) a person’s behavior is a deliberate choice of how they want to perform, (3)

employees expect certain things from the organization in which they are employed such as

competitive salary, job security, career advancement, etc. (4) if compensated to the employees

satisfaction, there output will reflect either satisfactory or exceed expectations.  (LĂZĂROIU,

2015).  Simply stated, if the employee is motivated at the level they think is satisfactory, the

employee will base their performance output on how they are compensated.  Vroom claims that a

person consciously chooses what they will do to motivate their performance.  Something has to

motivate the employee personally or professionally for them to perform at their peak.  In step

one, the employee will use their bargaining rights prior to accepting employment with the

organization when they are offered the position they applied for.  So if they seek a specific type

of compensation such as salary or an incentive, they will discuss and negotiate prior to accepting

the offer.  This way the employees motivation is even more secure because they had a hand in

deciding their compensation which motivates them even more by having that flexibility.  Even if

they might not get what they asked for in wages, they might be able to negotiate an incentive

plan that motivates them and compensates for the salary.  These are things they’ve learned from

their previous employment that they will apply going forward. The employee has learned they

must ask upfront instead of joining an organization and getting them to modify compensation as

they agreed what compensation would be prior to accepting the offer.

The second theory pertains to a person choosing how to perform.  If the employee doesn’t

feel that the compensation they receive doesn’t not reflect going above and beyond expectations,

the employee will do just enough to be compensated at their particular paygrade.  This is a clear

example of the employee making a conscious decision to perform at a specific output level.  It

will not exceed expectations because they aren’t motivated to do so.  Within the third

expectation, an employee wants the organization to always remain competitive with their salary,

job security and career advancement.  Employees charge the organization to reassess these things

within the employees tenor with the company.  If the organization does not respond to these

motivating factors, the employee becomes demotivated and will perform at just a satisfactory

lever and/or start seeking other employment opportunities.  The last method is based on the

thoughts of how the organization has decided to compensate the employee.  At that time this

motivates the employees output or work ethic.  If they agree with the compensation that they are

receiving and have a potential to earn levels of compensation, this will motivate the employees

performance even more.  They will continue to challenge themselves personally and

professionally to exceed expectations based on the compensation that motivates them and their


Kopp (2014) refers to the measure of valence, which is the “individuals will decide to

behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated due to the value (valence) they place

on a certain outcome occurring.” (sec. 2.2, para. 36)  This states if certain goals and incentives

are put in place to motivate individual performance, you will receive the maximum output from

them.  The theory promotes a mutual understanding within the organization and the employee. 

An employee can often refer to the said incentive structure to self-motivate and keep them

engaged.  Although it isn’t realistic to assume company’s have the ability to individualize each

employees compensation plan, managers do have the ability to tap into each employees thought

process of what compensation is.  As leaders, the compensation program should be discussed

with each individual and information that they have obtained from the employee during

development sessions should be referenced to tailor the compensation plan specifically to their

motivation.  For example, if part of a compensation includes a quantity of something to be

performed, the leader should tap into that factor and relate it to a specific skill and motivation

described by an employee.  This conversation would review the need for expectations tying into

their specific performance. Such as there are x amount of partnership meetings required per

month.  However, for you to exceed the expectations, you’d need to perform x amount of

partnership meetings.  Tying this to the employees individual desires will be a win win for all.

Since x amount of partnership meetings are required, the leader should showcase how those

meetings directly affect the positive performance of the group and therefore increasing the

partnership meetings should also produce additional positive results regarding team performance

and they are incentivized for completing additional meetings. This speaks to what the company

would like to obtain and how the employee can obtain personal and professional gains.  This also

encourages a decreased turnover rate.  If an employee is happy with their compensation, job

function and the ability to progress within the company, that employee will remain loyal to the



International Research Journal of Business and Management (2014).Volume No – VII Issue – 9

Kopp, D. M. (2014). Human resource development: Performance improvement through learning [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://ashford.content.edu

LĂZĂROIU, G. (2015). Work Motivation and Organizational Behavior. Contemporary Readings in Law & Social Justice7(2), 66–75.

Matsumoto, D. (2009).  The Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology, Cambridge University Press, p.319

SUCIU, L.-E., MORTAN, M., & LAZĂR, L. (2013). Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. An Empirical Study: Civil Servant’s Performance Appraisal Influencing Expectancy. Transylvanian Review of Administrative Sciences39, 180–200.

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