Exercise 9-1: Explaining Behavior Using Expectancy Theory

The purpose of this exercise is to allow students to consider how their own values, instrumentalities, and expectancies have interacted and played a role in motivating past actions or inactions.

  • Recall and write down two examples of attaining a goal and one example of failing to attain a goal. The goal could be anything that is personally meaningful (e.g., academic, sports-related, work-related).
  • For both examples, analyze how your values, perceptions of instrumentality, and expectancies interacted to affect your success or lack of success.
  • Identify which component of the Expectancy Theory seemed to be most significant in each of your examples of goal attainment or failure.

Exercise 9-2: Learning How to Set Effective Goals

  1. Develop three goals and write them down. They may be related to school or work (e.g., studying more for class or learning something new) or to something in your personal life (e.g., exercising more).
  2. Be sure your three goals conform to the acronym often used to help design goals: SMART. That is, effective goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.
  3. For each goal, identify what you believe are the major obstacles to completing it and what steps will be necessary to overcome those obstacles.

Short Answer and Essay

Extra Credit: Short Answer and Essay Questions

1.  Draw a diagram that depicts Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Provide a definition for each level of need.

2.  How does Alderfer’s ERG theory relate to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? What are the major differences between the two needs theories?

3.  Draw a model that depicts the components of job characteristics theory. What does research tell us about this theory?

4.  What are the three main strategies an employee might use to reduce feelings of inequity?

5.  Discuss the three components of Vroom’s expectancy theory. Describe how motivation is determined based on this theory.

6.  You are an HR manager who needs to explain the management by objectives process to your company. What will you say? What can you tell the company about what research has to say about this process?

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