The Relationships of Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence for Motivation in Self-Employment: A Mediation of Entrepreneurial Motivation in Nigeria

  • Muhammad Adamu Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economics and Business University Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Mahani Mohammad Abdu Shakur Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Bauchi State University-Nigeria
Keywords: Expectancy; Instrumentality; Valence; Entrepreneurial Motivation; Potential Entrepreneurs; Self- Employment (New Business Start-Up); Nigeria.


The aim of this article is to investigate the motivation of potential entrepreneurs toward the realization of a new business creation. Universally, it is evident that the motivation of potential entrepreneur stem from both the individual factors and the environment matched together to trigger entrepreneurial motivation. The Vroom’s Expectancy Motivation Theory explains self-employment in terms of an individual’s motivation and ability to start a business. Businesses are created by those with the motivation and capability to realize it.  Based on the Vroom’s expectancy motivation theory (1964), the new business start-up specific expectancy, instrumentality and valence are key components of entrepreneurial motivation and this translates into the efforts, behavior sand performance that would in the end lead to a new business start-up among the potential entrepreneurs. The methodology used in this research was based on a positivist philosophy that entails a deductive approach with a quantitative technique through a cross-sectional survey. The data were collected with a questionnaire as an instrument for the survey. To attain the objectives of this research, the data of this study were analyzed using PLS-SEM Path Algorithms, Bootstrap path coefficients and Sobel test statistics.  The statistical significance of relevant path coefficients that are fundamental in measuring self-employment among potential entrepreneurs were assessed and evaluated. The results confirm the supposition that expectancy, instrumentality and valence enhance entrepreneurial motivation for a new business start-up. Furthermore, external factors such as vocational training, machinery/equipment and ICT’s were also significantly found to exert an impact on the potential entrepreneur’s new venture creation.



Ayodeji, M. (2015). Entrepreneurial development barriers in a developing nation: A Case Study of the Nigerian Printing SMEs.
Awruk, K & Staniewski, M (2015). Motivating factors and barriers in the commencement of one’s own business for potential entrepreneurs. Ekonomska istraživanja, 28(1), 583-592.
Canevello AJ. (2011). Interpersonal goals, others' regard for the self, and self-esteem: The paradoxical consequences of self-image and compassionate goals. European Journal of Social Psychology 41(4):422-434.
Carsrud, A., Brännback, M., Elfving, J., & Brandt, K. (2017). Motivations: The Entrepreneurial Mind and Behavior in Revisiting the Entrepreneurial Mind (pp. 185-209). Springer International Publishing.
Fátima, M. J. A. (2012). On Becoming Self-Employed: Gender, Class and Entrepreneurship in Portugal. SSS.
Fitzsimmons, J. R., & Douglas, E. J. (2011). Interaction between feasibility and desirability in the formation of entrepreneurial intentions. Journal of Business Venturing, 26(4), 431–440.
Fernández-Serrano, J., & Romero, I. (2012). Entrepreneurial quality and regional development: Characterizing SME sectors in low income areas. Papers in Regional Science, 92(3), 465–513.
Gatewood, E. J., Shaver, K. G., Powers, J. B., & Garner, W. B. (2012). Entrepreneurial expectancy, task effort and performance. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 27(2), 187–206.
Henley, A. (2007). Entrepreneurial aspiration and transition into self-employment: evidence from British longitudinal data. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 19(3), 253-280.
Hopp, C., & Sonderegger, R. (2015). Understanding the dynamics of nascent entrepreneurship—Prestart-up experience, intentions and entrepreneurial success. Journal of Small Business Management, 53(4), 1076–1096.
Hsu, D. K., Shinnar, R. S., & Powell, B. C. (2014). Expectancy theory and entrepreneurial motivation: A longitudinal examination of the role of entrepreneurship education. Journal of Business and Entrepreneurship, 26(1), 121–140.
Isa, Y. Z. M., Abu Bakar, Y. A., & Ahmad, S. (2016). Determinant factors of women entrepreneurs’ business performance: a conceptual framework. Journal of Global Business and Social Entrepreneurship, 1(1), 244-256.
Karimi, S., Biemans, H. J. A., Mahdei, K. N., Lans, T., Chizari, M. & Mulder, M. (2017). Testing the relationship between personality characteristics, contextual factors and entrepreneurial intentions in a developing country. International Journal of Psychology, 52 (in press). Retrieved from
Kisker, C. E. W. (2016). Model for testing the impact of motivational factors of nascent entrepreneurs on business surviving success. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 12(4), 126-132.
Klyver, K., Nielsen, S. L., & Evald, M. R. (2013). Women’s self-employment: An act of institutional (dis)integration? A multilevel, cross-country study. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(4), 474–488.
Kritikos, A. S. (2014). Entrepreneurs and their impact on jobs and economic growth. IZA World of Labor.
Manolova, T. S., Brush, C. G., Edelman, L. F., & Shaver, K. G. (2012). One size does not fit all: Entrepreneurial expectancies and growth intentions of US women and men nascent entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 24(1–2), 7–27.
Manolova, T. S., Brush, C. G., & Edelman, L. F. (2007). What do women (and men) want? Entrepreneurial expectancies of women and men nascent entrepreneurs. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 27(8), Article 2.
Powell GN, Eddleston KA. (2013). Linking family-to-business enrichment and support to entrepreneurial success: Do female and male entrepreneurs experience different outcomes? Journal of Business Venturing28(2), 261-280.
Seibert, S. E., & DeGeest, D. S. (2017). The Five Factor Model of Personality in Business and Industry. The Oxford Handbook of the Five Factor Model, 381.
Shapiro, A. F. (2014). Self-employment and business cycle persistence: Does the composition of employmentmatter for economic recoveries?Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 46, 200–218.
Sozen, E., & O’Neill, M. (2017). An Exploration of the Motivations Driving New Business Start-up in the United States Craft Brewing Industry. In Craft Beverages and Tourism, Volume 2 (pp. 195-212). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Thurik, A. R., Carree, M. A., Van Stel, A., & Audretsch, D. B. (2008). Does self-employment reduce unemployment?. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(6), 673-686.
Vroom, V. H. (1964).Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.
Vroom, V. H., & Jago, A. G. (1978). On the validity of the vroom-Yetton model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63(7), 151–162.
Yushuai, W., Na, Y., & Changping, W. (2014). An Analysis of Factors Which Influence Entrepreneurial Motivation Focused on Entrepreneurs in Jiang Xi Province in China. Journal of Applied Sciences, 14(8), 767-775.
Zanakis, S. H., Renko, M., & Bullough, A. (2012). Nascent entrepreneurs and the transition to entrepreneurship: Why do people start new businesses? Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 17(1), 1–25
How to Cite
Adamu, M., & Abdu Shakur, M. M. (2018). The Relationships of Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence for Motivation in Self-Employment: A Mediation of Entrepreneurial Motivation in Nigeria. International Journal of Business and Management Future, 2(1), 48-54.