Equity Theory of Motivation
Equity Theory Definition
The equity theory of motivation is the idea that what an individual receives for their work directly affects their motivation. When applied to the workplace, it means an individual will generally aim to create a balance between what they give to the organization compared to what they get in return.
It is about how fair an organization is. The perception of how fair an organization is known as organizational justice.
What do we mean by equity?
Equity theory talks about equity, which is different than equality. Equity at work occurs when an employee’s inputs equal to the employee’s outcomes.
Principles of Theory of Motivation
- People hold beliefs about people’s inputs and outcomes
- People compare themselves to a referent, others.
- People form a belief about others’ inputs and outcomes.
- People compare inputs and outcomes.
- Perceptions of inputs motivate behaviors to restore equity.
When the inputs and the outputs that an employee makes are equal, one feels a sense of equity. This is in contrast to equality, where which occurs when all employees get the same outcomes, regardless of employee inputs.
For example, there might be some employees that get paid more than other employees. But that will be okay if the employees that get paid more bring more to the organization.
People will think that’s okay.
What are these inputs and outcomes that are supposed to be equal?
The input that an employee can bring to a job is time, their education and their ability, their effort, their loyalty, and things like that, and the more of these inputs they bring to a job, the more they expect the outcomes to be, the greater the work should be.
That includes salary, but it’s not limited to compensation. You could include benefits, perks, job security, job title, job control, the degree that one has the freedom to choose to do what one wants to at work.
Life balance is an outcome that people really value responsibility, recognition, and so on.
We’re bringing to an organization equal to what the organization is providing to us; we tend to think that this is an equitable situation.
What equity theory says is that people naturally seek to create equity in their job.
How does this occur?
Equity theory says that employees that just their effort in the function of the rewards that they receive. That means if somebody feels that they’re under-rewarded, the employee’s going to feel angry and reduce their effort, and they’re more likely to steal.
And lots of research has shown that this is to be true. If employees think that they’re underpaid under-recognized, they’re far more likely to reduce their effort, trying to get away with things and steal things, stuff like that,
Lesser degree research also shows that over rewarded employees feel guilty, and they try working harder or being more appreciative of balancing things out.
Now how do people tell what a balances Equity theory says? Those employees compare their input to outcome ratio to other employees to decide what’s fair.
If I see that I’m bringing Just as much to an organization as somebody else does, but they’re getting more than I am, that’s going to seem unfair or bring more to the organization than somebody else does.
But we have the same salary and benefits and status and recognition and things like that.
There’s a good chance that I’m going to be seen; I’m going to know that it is also unfair. The input to outcome ratio of other employees tends to be what we look at to see whether things are fair.
Another aspect of an extension of equity theory is the idea of equity sensitivity. People vary in the degree to which they prefer equity in tow.
What degree of equity is important to him?
And there’s a kind of three categories of people;
- Equity Sensitives
Benevolence people that tolerate and may even prefer situations where their inputs are more generous than their outcomes. They want to be giving more than they get, and they feel a lot better about that.
Jesus himself said it’s better to give than to receive because giving one gets to show love. In the sense that would, that’s an example of benevolence in an organization.
Benevolent people don’t seek to get as much as possible because that’s what others are getting. But they’re happier to be providing more than what they get in return.
These are people that want their income input to outcome ratio to be the same as other employees. And this is what equity theory assumes people are, um, they assume this is the normal level of equity sense, it, sensitivity and reality.
It’s not because there is benevolence and on the other end of the spectrum.
There are entitled people who feel entitled and prefer situations where their outcomes are greater than their inputs, who get back more than what they put into and think they deserve that one.
Greater outcomes than other people, given their level of input and so that’s for that reason they’re called entitled.