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The paper “ Expectancy Theory - Cognitive Variables That Present the Differences Exhibited in Work Motivation” is an intriguing variant of essay on human resources. Organizational motivation is indispensable in determining the performance of the organization. Employee motivation is imperative given the dynamic involved in attaining the set objectives. In this regard, expectation theory presents variables that define individual differences in attainment of motivation. From a management standpoint, the expectancy theory has significant implications in achieving motivation. As such, this retrospect paper seeks to understand motivation and associated expectancy theory that affects motivation. In a nutshell, motivation seeks to improve team spirit with respect to achieving various organizational goals.

Simply put Williams and McWilliams defines motivation as a set of forces that fundamentally initiates, propels and channels peoples efforts towards the accomplishment of a set objective (Williams and McWilliams, 2010). Principally, motivation comprises of powers able to move, direct and enable an individual to attain certain goals. Efforts to relate to the choices made on how much efforts are channelled towards the specified job. Direction, on the other hand, re-counts on the choices made by affected persons with respect to the placement of effort in their jobs (Fred, 2011).

Subsequently, persistence relates to the choices regarding the length of time individuals will be willing to take before reducing or eliminating their efforts. These aspects are a guiding factor in realising the expected outcomes. Expectancy theory is conceptualised upon four assumptions. One assumption affirms that the people work in organisations with expectations regarding their needs, past experiences and motivation (Skudiene, 2012). These factors affect how people react in the organisation. Secondly, it presupposes that an individual’ s behaviour is linked to his conscious choice.

Simply put, people can freely choose behaviours suggested by their expectancy assumptions (De Cremer, 2010). Thirdly, it suggests that people want different things from an organisation namely good salary, job security, challenges and advancement, among others (Fred, 2011). The last assumption is that people will always choose various alternatives in the optimization of their personal outcomes. A number of beliefs are essential in understanding the expectancy theory. Each of the beliefs rests on the belief of the employees namely; Effort and performanceNeed satisfactionExtrinsic and Intrinsic RewardsEffort and performanceAn individual’ s effort and performance correlates directly.

Motivation is a key determinant in job performance. As such, performance is determined by three domineering factors that correlate mathematically as shown in the equation below: Job Performance = Motivation × Ability × Situational ConstraintsAbility, behavioural determinants, is fairly stable in individuals as it is manifested in broad spectrums such as intelligence or rather physical coordination. Situational constraints, on the other hand, is an important determinant of behaviour (Fred, 2011). Essentially, these are opportunities and environmental factors that facilitate or demean behaviour whose results affect job performance.

For instance equipment, tools and procedures, which if present oversee the improvement in behaviour; while their absence diminishes behaviour (Rahman, 2013). Fundamentally, they are factors beyond employees’ control. The absence of situational constraints can result in maximised behaviour. Motivation defines one's capability, thus job satisfaction will suffer if any of these factor lack in the equation (De Cremer, 2010). Need satisfactionThese are the requirements met in ensuring the survival and wellbeing of an individual. When the needs are met, individuals feel safe and well protected.

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