Case Study 2.1 INCREASING EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION, Page 64 Assume that you have been asked to design a portion of the orientation program that your organization is using for new employees. How might the three concepts from expectancy theory (expectancies, instrumentality, and valence) be used to increase the motivation of these new employees? That is, what activities or discussions might be conducted that would increase the likelihood that employees Writing Requirements 1. Use APA format from the 6th edition 3. Paper length should be 23 pages excluding cover page, abstract, and reference page.
Case Study 2.1 INCREASING EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION, Page 64 Assume that you have been asked to design a portion of the orientation program that your organization is using for new employees. How might the three concepts from expectancy theory (expectancies, instrumentality, and valence) be used to increase the motivation of these new employees? That is, what activities or discussions might be conducted that would increase the likelihood that employees Writing Requirements 1. Use APA format from the 6th edition 3. Paper length should be 23 pages excluding cover page, abstract, and reference page. content:- Cognitive Process Theories of Motivation Few of us would deny that our conscious thoughts play a role in how we behave. A second group of motivation theories, called cognitive process theories, recognizes this and argues that motivation is based on a persons thoughts and beliefs (or cognitions). These theories are sometimes referred to as process theo- ries because they attempt to explain the sequence of thoughts and decisions that energize, direct, and control behavior. Cognitive motivation theories have direct relevance to HRD. Most HRD programs include attempts to change employee behavior by influencing their thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes. Learning, which lies at the heart of HRD, is often seen as a cognitive process (learning is discussed in Chapter 3). We can do a better job of designing and implementing HRD programs if we understand how employees thoughts and beliefs affect their behavior. In the following sec- tion, we briefly review four cognitive theories of motivation: expectancy theory, goal-setting theory, social learning theory, and equity theory. Each theory has relevance for the practice of HRD. Expectancy Theory. Expectancy theory, first proposed by Victor Vroom, assumes that motivation is a conscious choice process.57 According to this theory, people choose to put their effort into activities they believe they can perform that will produce desired outcomes. Expectancy theory argues that decisions about which activities to engage in are based on the combination of three sets of beliefs: expec- tancy, instrumentality, and valence. Expectancy beliefs reflect an individuals judgment of whether applying (or increasing) effort to a task will result in its successful accomplishment. Stated another way, people with high expectancy believe that increased effort will lead to better performance, but people with low expectancy do not believe that their efforts, no matter how great, will affect their performance. All things being equal, people should engage in tasks for which they have high expectancy beliefs. The second belief, instrumentality, is a judgment about the connection the individual perceives (if any) between task performance and possible outcomes. Making an instrumentality judgment entails asking the question, If I perform this task successfully, is it likely to get me something I want (or something I dont want)? Instrumentality ranges from strongly positive (the individual is cer- tain that performing a task will lead to a particular outcome), through zero (the individual is certain there is no relationship between performing the task and the occurrence of a particular outcome), to strongly negative (the individual is cer- tain that performing a certain task will prevent a particular outcome from occurring). The third belief important to expectancy theory is valence. Valence refers to the value the person places on a particular outcome. Valence judgments range from strongly positive (for highly valued outcomes), through zero (for outcomes the per- son doesnt care about), to strongly negative (for outcomes the person finds aversive). Expectancy theory posits that employees will make these three sets of judg- ments when deciding which behaviors and tasks to engage in. Specifically, the theory predicts that employees will choose to put effort into behaviors they believe they can perform successfully (high expectancy) and believe are connected (high instrumentality) to outcomes they desire (high valence) or believe will prevent (negative instrumentality) outcomes they want to avoid (negative valence). Figure 2-3 graphically depicts this process. For example, suppose the man- ager of a bus company tries to motivate drivers to drive more safely by offering safe drivers additional vacation days. Whether this will motivate a driver to drive more safely depends on whether 1. the driver thinks he or she can improve his or her safety record to the level desired by the manager (expectancy), 2. the driver believes the manager will give more vacation days if his or her safety record is improved to the desired level (instrumentality), and 3. the driver values having more vacation days (valence). Do people behave in the way expectancy theory predicts? Empirical studies testing the theory have supported its predictions.58 However, methodological problems in some of these studies may have led to underestimates of the theorys predictive ability.59 Expectancy theory may seem complex, and more research is needed to understand whether the theory accurately represents the behavioral choices we make.60 Expectancy theory is, however, clearly relevant to HRD. It offers a way to diagnose performance problems and then suggests how these pro- blems can be overcome. In addition, expectancy theory has implications for the design and effectiveness of HRD programs. For example, according to expec- tancy theory, employees will not be motivated to attend HRD programs and try to learn from them unless they believe 1. their efforts will result in learning the new skills or information presented in the program, 2. attending the program and learning new skills will increase their job perfor- mance, and 3. doing so will help them obtain desired outcomes or prevent unwanted outcomes. Viewing employee behavior from an expectancy theory perspective, super- visors and HRD professionals can design and market programs in ways to ensure that employees make the appropriate judgments and, as a result, will be motivated- FIGURE 2-3 A Graphic Representation of Expectancy Theory Expectancy How likely is it that I will reach my performance goal? Instrumentality Will I receive various outcomes if I reach my performance goal? Valence How desirable or undesirable are these outcomes? to attend, learn, and apply what they have learned back on the job. Some ways to do this include offering incentives such as holding HRD programs in attrac- tive locations, offering paid time off from work to attend, designing a program that is interesting and enjoyable, providing proof that the program is effective, and making success in the program a prerequisite for promotion and other desirable outcomes.61 Goal-Setting Theory. A second cognitive theory of motivation is goal- setting theory. Goal-setting theory contends that performance goals play a key role in motivation. The theory proposes that goals can mobilize employee effort, direct attention, increase persistence, and affect the strategies employees use to accomplish tasks.62 Goals influence an individuals intentions, which are defined as the cognitive representations of goals to which the person is committed.63 This commitment will continue to direct employee behavior until the goal is achieved or until a decision is made to change or reject the goal. Goal setting is probably the best-supported theory of work motivation, and one of the best-supported management theories overall.64 Research convincingly shows that specific, difficult, and employee-accepted goals will lead to higher levels of performance than easy, vague (such as do your best), or nonexistent ones. This research also demonstrates that the presence of feedback enhances the effectiveness of goal setting.65 Further research is needed to understand how and under what conditions goal setting works best.66 For example, a study on the effectiveness of asser- tiveness training tracked assigned goals given to half the trainees at the end of a training program. These trainees were told to use key points taught in train- ing in two settings per week for four weeks. Checklists were provided to assist these trainees in tracking their goal attainment. Interestingly, trainees who had been assigned goals liked the training significantly less right after training than those in the no goal-setting condition. However, in a follow-up session four weeks later, reactions from trainees in the goal-setting condition had improved. More importantly, they could reproduce from memory a significantly larger portion of the training content than could the trainees without assigned goals, and they also demonstrated more assertive behaviors in a role-playing experi- ence than did the no-goal trainees. A basic point of this research is that adding a goal-setting condition to an already effective training program makes it more effective.67 Goal setting has become an integral part of many HRD programs, particu- larly in helping participants understand the desired results of a program, and to motivate them to achieve these results. Goals can then be discussed with their supervisors back on the job to ensure that employees use what they have learned during the HRD program to improve their performance. For example, a key component of the career development process is setting career goals.68 According to goal-setting theory, an employee who establishes career goals is more likely to advance his or her career, especially if the goals are specific, challenging, and accompanied by regular feedback on progress toward the goals.
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