Victor Vroom's expectancy theory proposes that motivation is determined by three factors: expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. Expectancy refers to an individual's belief in their ability to perform a task successfully and achieve desired outcomes. Instrumentality relates to the perception that performance will lead to specific outcomes or rewards. Valence represents the value or desirability of those outcomes to the individual. According to this theory, individuals are motivated when they believe their efforts will result in successful performance and desirable outcomes.
In the context of an online community, Vroom's expectancy theory can help explain members' motivation to participate and contribute. Expectancy is relevant as individuals consider their capabilities and confidence in engaging with the community and achieving desired outcomes such as recognition or knowledge exchange. Instrumentality comes into play when members believe that their contributions will have an impact on the community or lead to desired outcomes, such as building a reputation or gaining social connections. Valence is important as individuals assess the personal value they place on participating in the community, such as the satisfaction of helping others or accessing valuable resources. Understanding these motivational factors can guide community administrators in designing incentives, recognition systems, and opportunities for meaningful engagement, ultimately fostering a motivated and active online community.