Expectancy Theory

Watch the video Expectancy Theory (by Professor Yoon) in Module 4 – Part 2 and complete the following two tasks.

Task 1. Let’s go back to your childhood. Think about the chores that your parents made you do for pay. For example, when I was a kid, my father used to pay me fifty cents if I shined his shoes before he went out to work. Choose a chore that you did (for pay or reward) as a kid and evaluate the pay (or reward) system from the Expectancy Theory perspective. In my case, the pay (or reward) was fifty cents, and the performance (or goal) that needed to be achieved was shining my father’s shoes. Follow the below two steps to complete this task. (Total of 30 points)

Step 1) Briefly explain what Expectancy Theory is and define the three factors (i.e., valence, instrumentality, and expectancy). (10 points)

Step 2) Explain the chore that you had to do for pay. Then, evaluate the pay system for doing the chore using the three factors. You must be clear about what valence, instrumentality, and expectancy factors are in your example. You also have to be clear about whether these factors were high or low, and thereby whether the system motivated you or not. If you do not have a clear understanding of this, go back to the book memorizing example in the video. You need to do something similar to how I have explained the Expectancy Theory using the book memorizing example. All that needs to be changed is what is being evaluated. Now, you are evaluating the pay system for doing the chore instead of the pay system for memorizing a book. And you are not presenting high and low cases for each factor. You are just “evaluating” whether the factors are high or low in your chore example. If you have never had to do a chore for pay in your childhood, use a case of anything that you had to do for pay. Evaluate the pay system for that work from the Expectancy Theory perspective. (20 points)

Task 2. Now, let’s assume that you are an owner of a large daycare center in the Central Texas area. There are about 2,000 kids in the center, and you employ about 400 daycare teachers. Your daycare center is the top choice among parents with young kids because you are well known for providing a reasonable quality service for a very low price. The monthly daycare fee for your center is, in fact, the lowest among all the daycare centers in the area.

To appreciate the hard work that daycare teachers do and to motivate them to work harder, you are planning to implement the Employee of the Year Award starting next year. However, since your competitive advantage is providing the service at a lower price, you do not want the prize of this award to be costly. Describe your plan for the award and evaluate the award from the Expectancy Theory perspective. Follow the below two steps to complete this task. (Total of 30 points)

Step 1) Describe your plan. Make sure that you provide answers to the following questions. What will be the prize? What will be the selection criteria for the award winner? How many winners? Keep in mind that you do not want the cost of the prize to be too high. (10 points)

Step 2) Evaluate the award program from the Expectancy Theory perspective. Evaluate the program using all three factors (i.e., valence, instrumentality, and expectancy) in the theory. Again, you must be clear about what valence, instrumentality, and expectancy factors are in your evaluation. You also have to be clear about whether these factors are high or low, and thereby whether the award will motivate the daycare teachers or not. If you do not have a clear understanding of this, go back to the pay raise example in the video. You need to do something similar to how I have explained the Expectancy Theory using the pay raise example. All that needs to be changed is what is being evaluated. Now, you are evaluating the Employee of the Year Award program instead of the pay raise system. And you are not presenting high and low cases for each factor. You are just “evaluating” whether the factors are high or low in your Employee of the Year Award program. (20 points)

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