Employee motivation: As a function of communication expectations and immediacy



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Texas Tech University


Communication expectations are important to study when addressing the area of human motivation. For this study, employees' communication expectations are defined as the anticipation of or predetermination of the way an interaction with a supervisor will be in the future. In other words, expectations are what an individual thinks will happen. Expectations have been found to affect individual's motivation (Dobos, 1996). Expectations have been studied in the academic realm as having an influence on communication interactions and the outcomes of these interactions. More specifically, when students' expectations of their teacher are met cognitive learning increases (Feldman & Thesis,1982; Koermer & Petelle, 1991). Despite the positive literature in the instructional realm, employees' communication expectations have not been studied in the organizational context. Since motivation and demotivation is often a result of communication interactions and since expectations often influence communication interactions, then employees' communication expectations, just like students' expectations, are likely to have an impact on their motivation. The bridge between students' expectations and motivation can be linked to employees' communication expectations and motivation based upon power. Instructors have power over their students, just as supervisors have power over their employees. Therefore, communication expectations are present in both contexts in relation to power. Students have similar communication expectations of their instructors as a result of the instructors' position, while employees have communication expectations of their supervisor resulting from his or her status. Thus, communication expectations can be similar between the instructional and organizational context. An understanding of the impact concerning employees' communication expectations can be vital in determining with relation to conceiving employees' motivation.



Communication in personnel management, Employee motivation