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EQUITY THEORY
JOHN STACEY ADAMS

Introduction

John Stacey Adams proposed that an employee’s motivation is affected by whether the employee believes that their employment benefits are at least equal to the amount of the effort that they put into their work.

Adam’s categorised employment benefits and rewards as outputs and an employee’s work effort as inputs.

John Stacey Adams Equity Theory

Input Examples

  • The number of hours worked by the employee
  • An employee’s work responsibilities
  • An employee’s work duties
  • The work commitment demonstrated by the employee
  • An employee’s loyalty
  • An employee’s flexibility such as undertaking tasks at short notice
  • The support that the employee has provided to the organisation, colleagues and line managers

Output Examples

  • Salary
  • Bonus
  • Prizes
  • Recognition of the employee’s contribution
  • Positive work appraisals
  • Work promotions
  • Pension
  • Employer flexibility
  • Annual leave

Conclusion

Adam’s stated that if an employee believes that their work outputs are not equal or greater than their inputs then the employee will become de-motivated. Adams’ theory includes the assertion that when an employee is assessing whether the outputs they receive are fair the employee will often compare their colleague’s work inputs and outputs with their own. The comparison will often be made with an employee at a similar level in the organisation to the employee.

 

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