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Instrumentality focuses on the probability of securing the desired outcome, following successful completion of the task.

Probability 1 – achievement of task will lead to second outcome i.e. desired outcome
Probability 0 – achievement of task will not lead to second outcome i.e. desired outcome.
Probability between 0 and 1 – There is a chance that completion of the task will lead to the desired outcome. The higher the number, the more the individual believes that they will be rewarded with the desired outcome following completion of the task.

Employees will put in more effort if they believe that performing well, will lead to a desired outcome. Performance related pay (PRP) initiatives centre on instrumentality. However, it is unlikely that PRPs will be successful, unless employees believe that their pay, will increase in line with high performance.



Mathematical Relationship

Vroom said that the valence and expectancy and motivation are linked through the following equation:

Force (Motivation) = Valence x Expectancy

Force is the effort that an individual puts into a task.


In the example below employee A and B’s task is to achieve targets and the desired outcome of achieving targets is a pay rise.

  Valence (V)

i.e. Desired outcome

Expectancy (E)

i.e. employee’s assessment how likely it is that the task will be achieved

V X E = F

i.e. valency multiplied by expectancy


i.e. Force which is the employees’s motivation

Employee A The employee believes that the outcome is very attractive.

= 0.8

As past performance is poor, employee assessed the task as difficult to achieve

= 0.2

0.8 x 0.2 = F



F = 0.16
Employee B The employee believes that the outcome is relatively attractive.


As past performance is reasonable, employee assessed the task as reasonably achievable = 0.6 0.6 X 0.6 = F F = 0.36

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