Adams’ Equity Theory

Topics: Employment, Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 3 (400 words) Published: March 1, 2012
Adams’ Equity Theory
Balancing Employee Inputs and Outputs


If you pay "peanuts", you may get "monkeys".

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Adams' Equity Theory calls for a fair balance to be struck between an employee's inputs (hard work, skill level, tolerance, enthusiasm, and so on) and an employee's outputs (salary, benefits, intangibles such as recognition,and so on). According to the theory, finding this fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship is achieved with the employee, with the overall result being contented, motivated employees.

The Theory Summarized:
Adams' Equity Theory is named for John Stacey Adams, a workplace and behavioral psychologist, who developed this job motivation theory in 1963. Much like many of the more prevalent theories of motivation (such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory), Adams' Equity Theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect an employee's assessment and perception of their relationship with their work and their employer.

The theory is built-on the belief that employees become de-motivated, both in relation to their job and their employer, if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the outputs. Employees can be expected to respond to this is different ways, including de-motivation (generally to the extent the employee perceives the disparity between the inputs and the outputs exist), reduced effort, becoming disgruntled, or, in more extreme cases, perhaps even disruptive.

How to apply the Adams' Equity Theory:
It is important to also consider the Adams' Equity Theory factors when striving to improve an employee's job satisfaction, motivation level, etc., and what can be done to promote higher levels of each.

To do this, consider the balance or imbalance that currently exists between your employee's inputs and outputs, as follows:

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