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Learning Theories, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 371

Essay

Compare and contrast the following learning theories: expectancy theory, social learning theory, reinforcement theory, information-processing theory. Provide examples of situations in which each theory might prove most effective in an employee training and development program in an organization. How do each of these theories relate to the learning process?

Learning Theories

The similarity among the four process motivation theories is their focus on understanding how employees choose behaviors to fulfill their needs. However, they are very different in how they perceive employee motivation. Expectancy theory (Noe, p. 147)is based on this formula: motivation = expectancy x valence (Armstrong, 2009, p. 326).The employees weigh the worth of the performance over goals that must be achieved. In stark contrast with the expectancy theory, informationprocessing theory examines how employees go about selecting rewards with which to meet needs (Noe, p. 149).Social Learning theory suggests individual behavior is determined by a person’s cognitions and social environment (Noe, p. 143).This theoryalso emphasizes the importance of internal psychological factors, especially expectancies about the value of goals and the employee’s ability to reach them (Armstrong, 2009, p. 327).

The Reinforcement approach (Noe, p. 142)to employee motivation sidesteps the issue of employee needs and thinking processes described in the information processing theories (Armstrong, 2009, p. 322). However, change of the Social Learning Theory do allow for the effect of employees’ perceptions of the rewards/punishments obtained by others as a contributor to motivation (p. 327). Thus, an employee is not just affected by the consequences of his own action at work, but is able to infer “appropriate” (p. 327) behavior from what he sees as the consequences for others of their behavior.

The difference of emphasis is apparent in information-processing theory when expectancy theory is examined. For example, with expectancy theory employees tend to be motivated by projects where the success rate is high. By contrast, information-processing theories are concerned with directing internal processes and workers actions appropriately and put more emphasis onthat “training content is learned and retained” (Noe, p. 149).

References

Armstrong, Michael. (2009). Armstrong’s Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

Noe. Employee Training & Development 4E. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. (I really don’t knowwhat’s the date of publication of the document you provided. Could you please provide it by yourself? Thank you!)

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