"Equity Theory And Research: An Overview" By Elaine Hatfield

1186 words - 5 pages

In the reading "Equity Theory and Research: An Overview" by Elaine Hatfield, she explains about the four propositions the equity theory is based upon. She explains that the first proposition is where individuals try to maximize their outcomes. For example, an employer may pay it's employees much less that they deserve which results in greater profits for that individual and maybe not thinking of the consequences this may bring, such as workers going on strike which then results in no production and no profit for that individual. So the employer has to be sure to know what they are doing and be careful not to tread too hard as they may step on the wrong person's foot. The next proposition explains how groups of people or the individuals in a group adapt to accepted systems which then will induce members to adhere to these systems so they can maximize their rewards not just for themselves but also for the group. In proposition number three Hatfield talks about when individuals find themselves in inequitable relationships, they become distressed and agitated with mental conflict. The last proposition explains how these individuals try to relieve this distress and restore equity by rewarding themselves or each other in some way to make them feel better about their relationship.In the next section Hatfield explains whether a relationship is equitable and who decides this. Hatfield believes the decision is put on the shoulders of the observers on the outside looking in on the relationship. These people look out the pros and cons of the relationship to see if both partners are putting an equal amount of time and effort into their partnership. If this is true then these observers believe the relationship can work, but their are many different observers that think differently and base their opinions on completely different ideas. For me I believe that it is solely up to the couple themselves if they believe their relationship is equitable, people may have their opinions but when it comes down to it, the decision making is put on the shoulders of the partners in the relationship, not the people around them.Hatfield then goes onto explain about techniques by which individuals use to reduce their stress. She believes that their is only two ways that this can be done, the first is by altering their own or their partners relative gains. They could re-establish actual equity by discovering if they are being mistreated or underpaid at work for example. Many things can be done if this is known to be the truth: 1) They could neglect their work. 2) Steal equipment from work. 3) Make mistakes; and 4) Damage company equipment. In each of these they are gaining some kind of equity even if it is for themselves personally. With this though sometimes come consequences such as being fired or mistreated further to a point that they want to quit. These participants can restore psychological equity by changing their perceptions of the situation. Trying to persuade and...

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