Equity Theory Research Paper

2177 Words9 Pages

The intent of this paper is to discuss some of the current research and opinion concerning, and to compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of, one of the more common theories of motivation, the Equity theory. In addition, this paper will compare and contrast the Equity theory with another popular theory of motivation: the Expectancy theory.


Motivational theories receive a great deal of attention in organizational behavior research, primarily because of their purported ability to explain some of the complexities of employee performance and turnover in an organization. Most motivational theories try to integrate external factors (i.e., an organizational compensation system) with internal forces
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In the face of inequity, either positive or negative, firms in the Netherlands exhibit lower trust and relationship continuity. U.S. firms react just as the Dutch do when faced with negative inequity, but they do not react negatively to positive inequity. These findings suggest that it is dangerous to presume the Equity theory is universally applicable to interorganizational relationships and, specifically, to assume that positive inequity will have deleterious effects (p.312).

This, again, may be an oversimplification. In this test, the Dutch firm responded as was expected and the U.S. firm did not. This only serves to illustrate that every environment is unique, and responses cannot be assumed. It also implies that some cultures may be more predisposed to accept positive inequity, and perhaps this can be built into a modified model for uses within that society. It does not, however, presume to determine which environments will respond in a specific way. (For example, the test was conducted in the Netherlands, but no larger presumption can be made to include all of Europe, or every industry within the Netherlands.)

Chhokar et at. (2001), talked about equity sensitivity, which elaborates on Adam 's Equity theory. The concept of equity sensitivity is used to explain why individuals from different cultural backgrounds do not behave as predicted when inequity exists and how they react to positive or
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