As employees scramble over each other in an attempt to achieve the next promotion, or trinket of acknowledgement, it is important to understand precisely how their expectations lead to motivation. Expectancy-Value Theory is one way of looking at how employees value the behavioral options available to them. In this theory, management should tie behavior and reward closely together if there is an expectation that employees will be motivated and productive. Management has an ethical opportunity to ensure proper returns on investments and progressive use of human capital in order to fulfill their function. The concepts of valence and expectancy make up the bulk of the Expectancy-Value Theory. In general, employees believe that when they put forth a specific amount of effort there should be an appropriate reward that is offered. If the expected energy and the value of the reward are not in alignment it will be difficult for management to solicit certain types of motivated behavior.
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