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equity theory


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A cognitive theory of motivation, based on the work of J. Stacey Adams, which claims that employees will be motivated if they believe that they are fairly treated in the workplace. The theory proposes that employees form an estimate of how the total benefits they receive from a job (pay, status, interest) compare with their total input (effort, skill, experience); this ratio is then compared with that of other people doing similar work. If the latter comparison is unfavourable, motivation will suffer.

Subjects: Business and Management — Psychology.


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