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Vroom’s expectancy theory to motivate academic library users in India using grounded theory approach

Komal Chopra (Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), Pune, India)

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication

ISSN: 2514-9342

Article publication date: 20 December 2018

Issue publication date: 24 June 2019




The purpose of study is to understand the motivation of academic library users by developing Vroom’s expectancy theory in the context of academic libraries using the grounded theory approach.


The grounded theory approach has been used for data collection, analysis and development of theory. The data were collected through the process of theoretical sampling. Interviews of faculty and students belonging to government and private universities in India were recorded and transcribed till theoretical saturation was achieved. The interviews were analysed in three stages, i.e. open coding, axial coding and selective coding, to identify concepts of Vroom’s theory and integrate them into a theoretical model.


The components of Vroom’s theory, i.e. motivation, expectancy, instrumentality and valence were generated from data. The motivation to visit an academic library can be classified as intrinsic motivation and force choice motivation. Expectancy in the context of academic libraries is related to ease or difficulty in accessing library and its resources which relates to ease of location access, timing access, remote access, access to siblings and discipline norms for access. Instrumentality is related to infrastructure, information, service and promotion. Valence is related to pleasure and satisfaction. The concepts were integrated into a theoretical model.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to academic libraries under state universities and private universities in India. Hence, the study cannot be generalised across institutions enjoying autonomy by the Government of India. Users of academic libraries may be motivated by several factors other than those considered with respect to motivation, expectancy, instrumentality and valence. The findings are based on the grounded theory approach which is an inductive approach. Alternate research methodologies, both inductive and deductive, need to be used to strengthen the external validity.

Practical implications

The understanding of user motivation through Vroom’s theory will help academic libraries to increase user motivation, thereby increasing usage of library resources.


Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation in the context of academic libraries was developed using the grounded theory approach.



This research was funded by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (02/324/2017-18/RP/Minor).


Chopra, K. (2019), "Vroom’s expectancy theory to motivate academic library users in India using grounded theory approach", Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, Vol. 68 No. 4/5, pp. 300-322.



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