Prof. Dov Eden
Means Efficacy: A Motivational Construct Whose Time Has Come
Means efficacy is a novel construct that supplements self-efficacy in work motivation theory. Means efficacy refers to the individual’s belief in the usefulness of the available tools for achieving successful job performance. As is the case for self-efficacy, it is hypothesized that when raised, means efficacy boosts performance expectations and motivates intensification of effort, culminating in enhanced performance. Research has confirmed the measurement validity and construct validity of means efficacy and its role in motivating enhanced performance. I will present several randomized field experiments in various types of organizations that demonstrate the power of raising means efficacy to boost work performance. By raising means efficacy, experimenters have been able to effect improvements in the productive utilization of computers among social service workers and among students; to reduce turnover intentions among workers with disabilities; to reduce job stress among employees coping with new information technology (IT); and to strengthen military trainees’ mastery of their weapons and their motivation to use them. These effects of means efficacy were achieved with no concomitant changes in self-efficacy. These valuable outcomes are achieved with no increase in investment of time or money. Reaping the benefits of means efficacy requires only awareness of its role in motivating effort and mindful managerial actions to enhance it.