This paper will include research conducted on the famous psychologist and management theorist, Victor Vroom, his most famous theory, the Expectancy theory of motivation, as well as his leadership model with decision-making from the help of colleague Phillip Yetton, and how these theories affect the industry of education. Vroom was mainly focused on how his theories were applied in the fields of management and leadership but can also be associated in terms of education.
Educational leaders can use both the expectancy theory of motivation and the leadership model for decision-making to access student change, growth, and development throughout a given time based on their degree of motivation and how students make their decisions. Motivation and decision-making are key components in the success of an individual and an organization within the workforce.
Employees in the field of management and leadership must be highly motivated in their field of work to become engaged and therefore produce effective work for their organization. Decision-making skills are a highly sought-after attribute for employees to possess because management and leadership position holders must make decisions that will affect themselves and their organization every day. It is important for educators to instill these values within their students at a very young age so that they can become highly competitive and profitable employees for their organization once they reach the workforce.
Victor Vroom is a Canadian native born amidst the Great Depression in the year 1932. Vroom had a very tight-knit family. His father worked diligently at an electric company, and his mother stayed home to raise him and his two older brothers. Vroom’s father was able to send his two older brothers to college but retired early and was unable to send Vroom to college.
Vroom wasn’t too concerned about going to college because he had found his passion for music at a very young age. His mother purchased him a clarinet at the young age of nine. He immediately fell in love and he would play his instruments for hours upon hours instead of focusing on academics. Vroom’s dream career was to be a musician, but through the troubling economic times, he found it difficult to withhold a stable job.
That was when Vroom’s father acquired a job from Vroom at a local bank. By doing so, Vroom found his passion for educational growth and applied to Sir George College (Concordia University). Having little to no prior educational interest, Vroom did not know what he wanted to study. He decided that since he didn’t know what he would study at the university, he completed an interest test. His interest tests resulted that he would thrive in psychology by ranking highest on the list. (Zeeman, 2018)
Vroom didn’t have any knowledge on what psychology entailed, so he conducted research and instantly was intrigued by the field. Vroom then applied to McGill University, where his two older brothers successfully attended. He enjoyed learning psychology so much that he sought out for his master’s degree in industrial psychology. While earning his degree, he wrote several academic journals, one of which received an award from the prestigious Ford Foundation. (Zeeman 2018)
Once Vroom obtained his doctorate degree, he started teaching and producing more in-depth published research journals regarding psychology. He also taught as a professor at the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania. Then, he taught at Carnegie University. While at Carnegie, he realized the shift from psychology research to business-related fields. Vroom was heavily interested in psychology in relation to the business fields in the areas of management and leadership. He later transferred to Yale University where he continues to serve as the director of the School of Management. (Zeeman 2018)
Management Theory: Expectancy Theory
Victor Vroom was famous for his work in psychological theory in terms of management and leadership. He originally did not have a passion for becoming a theorist because he wanted to have an impact on the world and the people within it, rather than focusing solely on academics. Vroom wanted to help the world see how unique people can be and their behaviors toward motivation. (Vroom, 2005)
He was very intrigued with motivation and how people are motivated, as well as, find satisfaction and the quality of the work that people do. He coined his theory, with the ideas from colleagues and professors, the expectancy theory of motivation in 1964. While researching for his book, Work in Motivation, he found that there are two main complications regarding motivation: the arousal in which strike our motivation and choosing in which events to act upon that provide personal motivation. For his expectancy theory of motivation study, he focused on the choices in which people make and how they are motivated to do the work that they do. (Vroom, 2005)
The Expectancy Theory of Motivation by Victor Vroom is calculated by the following formula: Motivation= Valence X Expectancy X Instrumentality. (Business Mate 2009)
Valence is related by the preference from the individual when wanting to obtain a certain outcome. When the individual is highly motivated, the valence will be much higher; when the individual is not motivated, the valence will be much lower. This is where executives in management must be aware of their employees in terms of what motivates them to produce the highest valence possible to achieve great success. (Business Mate 2009)
Expectancy is related to the confidence level in which individuals hold themselves to be motivated by a given task. If the individual has a high confidence level, then the expectancy will be high; if the individual has a low confidence level, then the expectancy will be low. (Business Mate 2009)
Instrumentality is related to the accomplishment that the individual feels in terms of the task. If the individual feels a high level of accomplishment, then the instrumentality level will be high; if the individual has a low level of accomplishment, them the instrumentality level will be low. (Business Mate 2009)
This theory and the elements listed above were used to measure and evaluate the motivation in terms of job choice, satisfaction, and performance. The study resulted that job performance gained the highest motivation for individuals. In addition, Vroom’s theory tested whether intrinsic or extrinsic motivators applied to the expectancy theory; the result was those intrinsic motivators, such as personal enjoyment, achievement, etc. (Vroom, 2005)
Managers and leaders within an organization can use the results of this study to identify what motivates their employees so that they will be the most effective and productive employees for the organization. Examples may include employee recognition programs, employee satisfaction opportunities, etc.
Leadership Theory: Model of Leadership Decision-Making
Victor Vroom is most famously known for his groundbreaking publication regarding the expectancy theory of motivation. However, he worked closely with colleague Phillip Yetton to design the model of leadership in decision-making in 1973. Decision-making is the root of how productive and effective an organization is based upon how the leaders make decisions, who is involved in those decisions, and how the outcome of the decision will impact others. With that being said, decision- making from an organizational standpoint involves many factors, such as cognitive and social perspectives; this is due to making the cognitive decision to reach an outcome and the social aspect involves how the decision will affect others. (Vroom, Phillips 1973)
Vroom and Yetton developed a decision-making model involving five different approaches to how one can come to decide. The five approaches are as follows:
1) You can make the decision solely by yourself
2) You can gather additional information from resources, then decide
3) You can converse with those involved individually, then decide
4) You can converse with those involved collectively, then decide
5) You can converse and explore decision outcomes together as a whole, then decide
These approaches are very beneficial to managers and leaders within an organization because one may need multiple approaches to handle an array of management or leadership decisions. One approach may not work for one decision, whereas with another decision, that approach may work the best. Managers and leaders can apply Vroom and Yetton’s decision-making model to handle their day-to-day operations within their organization in several ways. For example, managers and leaders can apply to decision-making model for their staff meetings by seeing how much information the organization has, evaluating how the decision with affect others, and whether the decision outcome should involve one or multiple parties within the organization. (Vroom, Phillips 1973)
Once one decides on an approach, then one asks a set of varied questions to be able to come to a solution regarding their problem. The questions contain both normative and descriptive questions to be able to accurately access the decision-making process and to effectively produce an outcome beneficial for the decision-maker and its constituents. By asking normative questions, one can evaluate the leadership style of the decision-maker; by asking descriptive questions, the behaviors within the leadership of the decision-maker are assessed. To achieve a conducive outcome on a decision, the decision-maker must use a variety of outlets, involving cognitive and social perspectives. By doing so, this model helps achieve the goal of effectively using a decision-making strategy and should be followed accordingly to the specific set of approaches and questions described in the model. (Vroom, Phillips 1973)
The industry of education does so much more than having qualified teachers teach students English language arts, mathematics, and science. Education plays a vital role in the growth and development of future leaders, businessmen, and productive citizens by instilling knowledge, skills, and values within individuals to be able to provide contributions to the betterment of society. Teachers must not only provide students with access to a technological education, but they need to ensure progress is being made so that they can compete within the workforce. (Pearson
Employers within the management and leadership fields are seeking employees who have acquired the vital knowledge and skills to be able to compete competitively within the global market. Students need to have the motivation and the decision-making skills to be able to properly engage in the workforce and to be productive and effective leaders for their organization in which they are employed. Motivation is a key component in the workforce because employees must have the motivation to seek education to become more specialized employees for the benefit of both themselves and their organization. Employees must acquire effective decision-making skills because, in the workforce, one is required to make decisions regarding the organization daily and to be must be able to make those decisions appropriately for the benefit of the organization. (Pearson
Education and the Expectancy Theory
Education and the expectancy theory of motivation can be closely related due to students needing high motivation for their success in their academics. Below is a description of a study conducted using the expectancy theory to assess student motivation in an accounting course on the secondary education level. There were eighty-seven students enrolled in an introductory accounting course at a university to serve as the participants for this study. The study used Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation to assess student motivation based on three outcomes: grade point average, job performance, and self-satisfaction within an accounting course setting. (Geiger, Cooper 1996)
In addition to measuring grade point average, job performance, and self-satisfaction, the study also identified decision-making outcomes based on those measurements to see how closely related the valances are. Decision-making was applied to this study because students had to make decisions on their behalf for how they would handle certain scenarios, such as how to increase their grade point average, what their job performance consisted of, and how satisfied they were with their outcome, in this case being their final grade in their accounting course. (Geiger, Cooper 1996)
The students who participated in this study were to assume that they were halfway through their semester in their accounting course. The students had to make decisions in several cases. For example, one case tested the students’ attractiveness on having a B in the class, in comparison to having an A in the course; then, the students were asked to identify their likelihood of an increased grade for the class, in this case going from a B to an A as the final grade in the course. Next, the students were prompted to demonstrate their efforts on how they would achieve going from a B to an A in the class. These two decisions provide the researchers with a model to assess student motivation based on their academic performance of going from a B to an A in the course. (Geiger, Cooper 1996)
The results indicated that the students had a high motivation to achieve an A in the course and displayed high motivation to put forth the effort to achieve an A as their final grade in the course. The students had a high motivation to improve their grade point average based on putting forth the effort to achieve high grades in course, which ultimately resulted in high self-satisfaction. (Geiger, Cooper 1996)
The researchers were able to use Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation (Motivation= Valence X Expectancy X Instrumentality) to evaluate their motivation based on overall grade point average, job performance, and self-satisfaction. Since the results indicated that the students had a high motivation to achieve a higher grade point average and high motivation to put forth the effort to achieve an A in their accounting course, their motivation levels were very high. (Geiger, Cooper 1996)
Education and the Model of Leadership Decision-Making
Education and the decision-making can be closely related due to academic leadership having to make decisions on the school’s behalf daily. Below is a description of Victor Vroom, Phillip Yetton, and Arthur Jago’s research regarding how the five leadership styles can be used to problem solve and make decisions within school organizations. (Lunenburg 2010)
Their model is designed by acquiring a given problem than asking seven questions in hopes to gain knowledge about the problem. Once the questions are answered, then they can identify with one of the five decision-making styles to formulate a decision and action plan to resolve the problem at hand. (Lunenburg 2010)
The seven questions in brief that Vroom, Yetton, and Jago felt were pertinent to their decision-making model is as follows:
1) What are the requirements?
2) Does the school have enough information to make a choice?
3) Is the decision analytical?
4) Is the outcome of the decision vital to the success of future decisions?
5) Will the decision positively affect others related to the problem?
6) Do the school’s leaders have valuable input on how the problem is resolved?
7) What is the best possible outcome for the given problem?
Along with those seven questions, the researching team developed five decision-making styles which will help school leaders within their problem-solving. The styles are as follows
1) School leaders use the information that they must solve the problem
2) School leaders utilize their resources for information, then make the decision
3) School leaders obtain the input of relevant employees, colleagues, etc. directly
4) School leaders obtain the input of relevance employees, colleagues, etc. as a collective whole
5) School leaders share the problem with the public as a collective whole
These decisions, along with the seven questions, are then evaluated to see which approach the school leaders should use in terms of finding a solution to their problem. The key component to effective decision-making when problems arise in the education industry is to clarify, listen, reinforce, and respond to outside influences. (Lunenburg 2010)
The model of decision-making constructed by Vroom, Yetton, and Jago has helped the leaders within the school system make effective decisions regarding the future of America’s children, whether it affect the students directly or indirectly. The decision-making model allows the leader to assess the problem in terms of information, acceptance, and input of others. This is helpful because, within a school system, there are various sources of information, multiple sources to gain acceptance from, and multiple sources of input for all decisions made from leadership. (Lunenburg 2010)
This research paper identified Victor Vroom’s foundation into the world of psychology, and later the fundamental researcher in management and leadership, his expectancy theory of motivation, his leadership model for decision-making with colleague Phillip Yetton, and how these theories correlate with education. The studies conducted with the expectancy theory in correlation to accounting students and the decision-making tree with school leadership shows a direct association with how these theories can be applied in the field of education. Education is a complex structure with multiple variances. Leadership within the school system can apply these theories to assess student motivation and student decision-making process sought after by Vroom and his colleagues.
Motivation and decision-making skills can be useful in the primary years of education, but also into the professional world as students enter the workforce. The students may feel highly motivated to achieve a higher education degree from a college, university, or technical school. The students can then evaluate their motivation to achieve high academic success in their fields.
In addition to motivation, students can use decision-making skills in the professional world to attribute their thought process when given a problem and expected to find a resolution. The individual can use the Vroom-Yetton model for decision making by accessing the problem in terms of one of the five approaches and asking normative and descriptive questions related to the problem to achieve an effective outcome for the organization.