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Chapter 12

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

Chapter 12: Work motivation  The capacity and willingness to expend effort is the motivational/“will do” component of behaviour  Work motivation refers to the domain of motivational processes directed to the realm of work o Three components: 1. Direction addresses the choice of activities we make in expending effort 2. Intensity implies we have the potential to exert various levels of effort, depending on how much we need to expend 3. Persistence reflects duration of motivation over time  Paradox of motivation – on one hand it is conceptualized as a continuous stream that runs through our lives, yet our focus and attention in life are directed to events that are bounded by time (have a beginning and an end)  One conception of motivation is that it accounts for the difference between typical and maximum performance o Typical performance = what they will do o Maximum performance = what they can do Five critical concepts in motivation 1. Behaviour – the action from which we infer motivation 2. Performance – assessment of the behaviour as judged against some standard 3. Ability – one of 3 determinants of behaviour; what you can do 4. Situational factors – second determinant of behaviour; facilitate or constrain behaviour; what you are allowed to do 5. Motivation – third determinant of behaviour; what you will do  Behaviour is at its maximum when a person has: o High ability o High motivation o Supportive environment  “Poor performance” can be attributed to 4 factors: 1. Organization may have high standards 2. Individual may lack the needed ability to exhibit the desired behaviour 3. Individual may lack the motivation to exhibit the desired behaviour 4. Individual may lack the needed equipment or opportunity to exhibit the behaviour Work motivation theories  Expectancy theory o Statement of the theory  Expectancy theory – a theory of motivation based on the perceived degree of relationship between how much effort a person expends and the performance that results from that effort  A cognitive theory since each person is assumed to be a rational decision maker who will expend effort on activities that lead to desired rewards  Five major parts to this theory: 1. Job outcomes – ex. Pay, promotions, vacation time, getting fired, transferred, feelings of recognition, etc 2. Valences – employee’s feelings about the outcomes; positive or negative valence to each outcome 3. Instrumentality – the perceived degree of relationship between performance and outcome attainment; 0-1; 0 means outcome is unrelated to performance, 1 means completely related; could be -1.0 to +1.0 4. Expectancy – perceived relationship between effort and performance; 0 means no probability of a relationship, 1 means there is one; usually only one expectancy value is perceived by the employee to reflect the effort-performance in his/her job 5. Force – amount of effort or pressure within the employee to be motivated  Force is the product of valence, instrumentality, an expectancy: o F = E[ sum of (V,I) ] ; we multiply the valence for an outcome by its corresponding instrumentality and them sum them up; then multiply that by the expectancy  The force is like a predictor of how motivated a person is  Most common measure of effort is a subjective assessment (usually a rating)  The theory’s validity is typically assessed by correlating the force scores with the criterion of effort  Expectancy theory predicts that motivation is highest in jobs that have high expectancies o Empirical tests of the theory  Across-subjects design – the person with the highest force score should be the most motivated, and the person with the lowest force score should be the least motivated  Within-subjects design – predicts on which tasks the person will work the hardest and on which will she or he expect the least effort  Better predictions are found for the within-subjects (.5-.7) than the across-subjects design (.3-.5)  Conditions for a program to be successful  Incentives (outcomes) must be provided and identified as highly attractive  The rules (behaviours) for attaining the incentives must be clear to both those administering the system and those actually in it  People in the system must perceive that variations in controllable aspects of their behaviour will result in variations in their level of performance and their rewards  Those 3 are basically valence, instrumentality, and expectancy o Evaluation of the theory  Expectancy theory will not be predictive whenever unconscious motives deflect behaviour from what a knowledge of conscious processes would predict  Theory works well for those with a rational basis for their behaviour, not for people with unconscious motives  Meta-analysis found that reduced conceptualization of the theory (not including all V, I , E) resulted in superior predictions of effort compared with the complete V, I, E model  Goal-setting theory o Statement of the theory  Goal-setting theory – based on directing one’s effort toward the attainment of specific goals that have been set or established  Relationship among goals, intentions, and task performance  Goals have 2 major functions: basis for motivation and direct behaviour  Two conditions must be met before goals can positively influence performance:  Individual must be aware of the goal and know what must be accomplished  Individual must accept the goal as something he or she is willing to work for  More difficult goals lead to higher levels of job performance  Commitment to a goal is proportional to its difficulties  The more specific the goal, the more concentrated the individual’s effort in its pursuit and the more directed the behaviour  Important for the person to receive feedback about task performance; work harder? Or continue at same pace?  Factors that induce high motivation and task performance:  Goals are behavioural intentions  More difficult and specific goals  Performance feedback o Empirical tests of the theory  Supportive of the theory  Study found that at the onset of goal setting, performance improved greatly – more than in the “do your best” condition  Goal-setting group displayed substantial improvements in academic performance compared to the control group o Evaluation of the theory  Theory states that the simplest and most direct motivational explanation of why some people perform better than others is that they have different performance goals  Difficulty, specificity of the goal, and the amount and nature of feedback influence performance  Reasons why goal setting is an effective motivational strategy:  Goals direct attention and action  Goals are difficult  Commitment  Task-related strategy  Goal setting is effective for groups  Goal setting was found to improve task performance when  Subjects have sufficient ability  Feedback is provided on progress relative to goals  Rewards are given for goal attainment  Management is supportive  Individuals accept assigned goals  Study on work group productivity…  Group-level feedback was found to increase productivity by 50 percent  Goal setting plus feedback increased productivity by 75 percent  Goal setting + feedback + incentives increased productivity by 76 percent  Goal-setting theory is noted as the most valid and practiced theories of employee motivation in organizational psych  Self-regulation theory o Statement of the theory  Self-regulation theory – based on the setting of goals and the receipt of accurate feedback that is monitored to enhance the likelihood of goal attainment  Individuals are aware of their progress in pursuit of the goals they have set  Facilit
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