The Equity Theory

Topics: Motivation, Reinforcement, Punishment Pages: 11 (3607 words) Published: May 9, 2012
The Arctic Mining Consultants crew, led by Tom Parker, had a job to stake a claim of almost 60 miles of line. The job was budgeted for seven days, requiring that each of us would be required to complete a little over seven “lengths” per day. My name is John Talbot. I was one of the three field assistants hired by Parker to complete the project. If all four of us could complete the 7+ lengths per day over the seven day period, we would each be awarded a $300 bonus. Unfortunately, the job was not completed on time, with a shortfall of a mere 2.5 lengths, and we did not receive the bonus. This analysis will focus on the areas of Motivation, Groups and Teamwork/Power. Issues surrounding these areas contributed to our failing to complete the project on time. This analysis will be followed by what I perceive are some alternatives for conduct in these areas and a solution to implement them.

Problem Statement

The job was not completed on time, and the $300 bonus was not awarded.



Equity Theory:

The equity theory was established when Millar began to compare his own job inputs and outcomes with Boyce’s performance. Boyce, who always completed fewer lengths than Millar, received little disapproval from Parker. The inequity among the two employees had increased Millar’s motivational level to achieve the daily required lengths and to gain recognition from Parker. His hard work and dedication was demonstrated when he worked through the day without taking any lunch breaks and arranged for the helicopter to drop him off first and pick him up last from the claim site.

Millar’s motivational level began to decrease after he collapsed in an exhausted heap. He was frustrated with his own work performance and Parker’s continuous dissatisfaction with his effort. The changes in his input level brought consistent negative feedback from Parker, which led him to eventually give up on his task. This prevented the group from collectively achieving their goal. Boyce‘s inability to complete his daily lengths also prompted Millar into giving up on his required task. He believed that regardless of whether he finished or not, the group would not have collected their bonuses. Millar was discouraged, which resulted in him never working for the company again.

McClelland’s Theory of Needs:

Need for Achievement
It is evident that Parker had the characteristics of having the need for achievement. Throughout his work experience, he had continuously moved up to higher positions and tasks. He has gained the specialized knowledge and experience to perform the job at Arctic Mining. At the same time, Parker had achieved a status in the company where project managers report to him.

Since he was the one in charge, he budgeted the amount of time projects would take. In his need for achievement, Parker under budgeted the time needed to finish the project. This was demonstrated when Parker pointed out that “with only one week to complete the job, everyone would have to average seven and a half lengths per day.” Achievers need regular feedback and throughout the seven days, Parker monitored the progress of the crew’s achievement very closely without giving them any useful feedback to guide them.

Parker’s age did not have an effect on the expectations he had set for himself to maintain the 7.5 lengths per day. He continuously met and exceeded his quota, demonstrating that the need for high achievement directly relates to high performance. Parker’s motivation and performance was above average when compared to the rest of the crew, and this caused frustration for Parker when his crew members did not meet the quota. Parker assumed the responsibility of finishing the job on time.

Parker’s excessive need for achievement overshadowed the needs and support of his team, especially when quotas were not met. At one point, Parker even complained about the quality of job that Millar was...
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