Motivation Theories Essay Example

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Case Study 6

Expectancy theory

The expectancy theory state that workers are motivated by desirable things that they expect they can achieve (Droar 2006). In predicting future events, workers also create expectations. Once the future seems attractive and desirable people believe they can make a difference and therefore this motivates them to get to their expectations. Walster et al. (2008) this theory is therefore based on valence which shows the value of perceived outcome, instrumentality which is the belief that one can achieve an outcome if a task is completed and finally is the expectancy where people believe that they can complete a certain task. It is therefore necessary to motivate people by showing them how simple it is to get what they desire and then supporting their self- belief which shows them that they can get to their expectation (Spector 2008, 79).

With respect to Colin in the case study, his attitudes, motivation and the likely business impacts were felt where he argued that the company was focusing in increasing sales and rather than increase in production and quality. Expectancy theory applied where Colin started questioning his future abs the firm’s future and had expressed that care needed to be taken in the supply undertakings. Colin felt that Steve was not committed to help him in getting quality products and in dealing with the growing supply side problems yet Steve earned two to three times of what the rest of his level of management earned. Colin problems were ignored and when later inventories shrunk, he resigned from the company (Steel and Konig, 2007).

Equity theory

Equity theory is necessary to use in this case where it state that people in relationships should equally share resources. This is because if one person is getting more than the other there will be conflict and the one getting more will feel guilty of the imbalance. (Cofer & Appley 1997, 89) shows this theory is supported by strong social norms and fairness to all. At one time in the case Colin felt that Steve was earning more than any one in their level of management and this shows that the company was not practicing equality. Guerrero and Afifi (2007, 56) shows the theory should be applied by people getting the short end, who should use it to make the other person feel guilty to enable them focus on the value of the company rather than material things they receive (Gill and Stone 2010, 346).

Primary and secondary problems


-Getting Steve as new CEO from the biggest rival

-Increasing Steve’s package

-Steve recruiting an old friend (Tom) for sales

manager and production manager (Ted) from a rival

-Neglecting Colin’s decisions

-There was competition from big retailers and larger retailers were offering discounts therefore it was hard to cope.

-The company was being sold to larger competitors or to alternative markets.

-The alternative markets had smaller retailers and there was higher demand for premium product

-Reliance on distributors in order to achieve sales volumes of the firm.

— Colin resignation

-Unable to meet supply commitments

-Reduced inventories

-Considering sales and bonuses rather than quality of products

SWOT Analysis



-Plantir has a good name in Australia

-Plantir focusing on its mission

-Bringing a high quality product to the market

-Had strong sales team working closely with distributors.

-Bringing an old friend as Sales manager

-Conflicts among managers for example between Steve and Colin and Colin and Tom

-Replacing Trevor who had more experience with sales.

-Increased incentives in Steve’s package

-Steve neglected key production considerations

-Managers concentrated more on sales and bonuses rather than quality

-Unequal sharing of resources where Steve and Tom were getting more than Colin in the same level of management

-Small company with no specialized people to sort the problems

-Neglect of other people’s decision for example Colin’s

— Unable to meet supply commitments


Making a good name and reputation therefore more business

-Having strong sales team capable of breaking into new markets

-It was a small firm

-Growing buying power of giant retailers made Plantir be sold to large competitors

-Increased competition as big retailers in the market reduced prices of premium wines

-Increasing availability of high quality, high volume wine labels


Cofer, N. and Appley, H. 2007. Motivation: Theory and Research, Sydney: Australia.

Droar, D. 2006. Expectancy theory of motivation, (accessed5 July 2011).

Gill, D. & Stone, R. 2010. Fairness and desert in tournaments. Games and economic behavior.
 Sydney: Springer.

Guerrero, A. & Afifi. A. 2007. Close Encounters: Communication in Relationships, 2nd edition. London: Sage Publications, Inc. 

Spector, P. 2008. Industrial and organizational behavior, (5th ed.).  Hoboken: Wiley.

Steel, P. & Konig, C. 2007. Integrating theories of motivation. Academy of Management Review, 31(4): 889–913.

Walster, E., Walster G.W. & Bershcheid, E. 2008. Equity: Theory and research, Melbourne: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.