Saturday, December 21, 2013

Expectancy Model of Motivation 5

In the last byte, we looked at expectancy model and understood the sources of motivational problems that might come in the way. In today's byte, we look at a few of the dimensions of expectancy theory of motivation in the light of morality and cultural differences.

If we were to question - who can the altruistic behavior of individuals be analyzed using the expectancy theory, we realize that it is not sufficient to give a satisfying answer. It would really fall short in explaining the altruistic behavior - the general expectancy model is in many ways akin to Adam Smith's idea that individuals work for their own self-interest. In order to explain these altruistic behaviors, one would need to consider the concept of - "Moral Maturity". Moral maturity is simply a measure of a person's cognitive moral development. This concept would help us explain the behavior of individuals that are seen to be altruistic, fair and equitable in nature. The morally mature people are seen to act and behave on what is seen as "universally ethical principles" while the immature ones are seen to behave in an egocentric behavior.

If we analyze the impact of culture on Motivation; it would be interesting to note that as the theories have been developed by Americans, they would need to be altered to cultures other than American. Cultures like the Japanese put a lot of emphasis on reducing uncertainty, while the Americans would put self-actualization at the pinnacle. The Greeks put a lot of emphasis on security. The Expectancy theory may hold very well to cultures that have individualism as an important value, but would not be successful in explaining the collective cultures where regards are closely tied to group or team efforts.

In any case a manager would need to understand the context of application of the motivational theories beyond just routinely following the theory into practice.

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