Diploma in Management Brisbane – Victor Vroom’s Motivational Theory

Victor Vroom’s Theory of MotivationManagers Training in Brisbane

Another famous student of motivation was Victor Vroom.

He suggested that a person’s motivation to perform any task was a result of the value he or she placed on the outcome, multiplied by the probability they felt it had of occurring.

The relationship can be expressed as an equation:

F = E x V

Force of motivation = expectancy of desired outcome x value of that outcome.

Vroom says that the force of a person’s motivation (and therefore the amount of effort they are likely to put into something) depends on whether they think it likely that they can achieve the desired outcome, and how desirable that outcome is.

For example, people need to be motivated to enter a competition. The force of their motivation needs to be sufficiently strong to complete the entry process – the more complex the entry process, the more motivation will be required.

Force of motivation will depend on how possible a person thinks it is that they will win the competition. If they think it is impossible they are unlikely to enter. This is affected by the extent to which they value the prize.

If the prize is a new car and their uninsured car has just been stolen, the value they place on the car will be high. Even then, if they think winning is absolutely impossible, they will be unlikely to enter.

Other factors also influence the motivation, as we will discuss next.


There will be a limit beyond which increase in effort does not improve performance because the individual does not have the ability to perform at a higher level.

Part of a leaders role is therefore to help improve this ability, although this may be limited by the individuals personal limitations.

Role perception

Effort may be tempered by an individual’s perception of their role and how it relates to those around them.

For example, a very enthusiastic member of the team may temper their enthusiasm if their colleagues are cynical.

Past experience

Effort is, at least in part, the result of past experience.

For example, if you had previously entered a competition and won a car that kept breaking down, the value you place on the reward will reduce.

Similarly, if you had put an enormous effort into writing a 12-word caption for your competition, and researched your facts thoroughly yet won nothing, your expectation that increased effort would result in increased chance of reward may be reduced.


Anthony Robbins in his book `Awaken the Giant Within’ lists the following factors as having a powerful influence on behaviour:

Moving-Toward Values                Moving-Away-From Values
Love                                                                 Rejection
Success                                                            Anger
Freedom                                                           Frustration
Intimacy                                                           Loneliness
Security                                                            Depression
Adventure                                                         Failure
Power                                                               Humiliation
Passion                                                             Guilt

He suggests that any time we make a decision about what to do, our brain first evaluates whether that action can possibly lead to either pleasurable or painful states.

LMIT provides online training and Nationally Recognised Courses in Certificate IV in Frontline Management and the Diploma of Management.

Published by: LMIT

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