Compensation and the Expectancy Theory

While analyzing how I ended up in my current role at my place of employment, expectancy theory explains it perfectly, suggesting that “individuals are motivated to perform if they know that their extra performance is recognized and rewarded” (Rowley et al., 2011). Starting out at my job, the work that was expected of me fulfills the title of a ‘team member’, consisting of tasks that all employees completed while clocked in. When my supervisor came to me and asked if I felt ready to advance to a shift lead, my initial motivation was a reflection of expectancy theory, the idea that I would get compensated and recognized for performing more complex tasks. Now that I am several months into the role of being a shift lead, I have recently had the realization that I’m not making nearly as much as I thought I was and that my pay raise was not as drastic as I had the impression of it being. At the same time of having this realization, I learned that my peers who work for the University are making a significant amount more than I am, while their jobs ask for much less performance and motivation from employees, in comparison to mine (Swift, 2022). Through this, I’ve learned that my current job has a job-content approach, and the university job functions as a market-based approach (Swift, 2022). In reference to the article, Most People Have No Idea Whether They’re Paid Fairly, I was able to identify my frustration with my current job being that my perception of what I am being paid for is fueling my desire to leave the company and go make more money for less work (Gallo, 2020). 


Rowley, C., & Harry, W. (2011). Chapter 6: Conclusion. In Managing people globally: An Asian perspective. essay, Chandos. 

Swift, M. (2022). Week 8: Lecture 4. Overview of Incentives

Swift, M. (2022). Week 8: Lecture 2. Pay Structures

Gallo, A. (2020, September 10). Most people have no idea whether they’re paid fairly. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from 

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