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John Stacey Adams

John Stacey Adams

American psychologist
John Stacey Adams
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American psychologist
Is Psychologist
From United States of America
Type Healthcare
Gender male
Birth 1925
Age 95 years
The details


John Stacey Adams (born 1925) is an American a workplace and behavioral psychologist. The creator (in 1965) of the theory of justice used in the context of consideration of motivation in work( equity theory on job motivation).

Much like many of the more prevalent theories of motivation (such as Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Frederick Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory), Adams' Equity Theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect an employee's assessment and perception of their relationship with their work and their employer.

Theory of Justice

There are two main principles to Adams’ Equity Theory: first, there needs to be a balance between our work inputs (effort) and outputs (reward), and second, workers need to feel fairly treated in comparison with their colleagues.

Adams' theory of justice is based on the premise that an important factor in motivation, efficiency, and satisfaction is the employee's individual assessment of justice or the fairness of the award. Justice can be defined as the ratio of an employee's workload to the rewards they have earned compared to the rewards awarded to others for similar expenses. 

The comparison process is as follows: According to the theory of justice, an individual's motivation is the result of a person being satisfied with what they receive in exchange for the effort they have made. People judge the fairness of their rewards by comparing them either with the rewards received by others for similar expenditures, or with some other ratio of effort to rewards that come to mind. 

When people believe that there has been an injustice, they are in a state of tension, which they try to discharge by modifying their behavior: they can do this by reducing their input (putting in less effort), or by trying to increase their outputs, which often manifests as a request for a pay increase. 

A sense of justice is, therefore, the result of equality between the two relationships. Discussions and research in the context of the theory of justice focus on money as the most significant reward in the workplace.

Applications of the theory:

  • If the rewards are to motivate employees, they must be fair and perceived as fair.
  • It is also necessary to take into account others with whom the employee compares.

See also

A theory of Justice by  John Rawls

To cite the article
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you notice a mistake, please contact us. Below the article, you will find links to the references used.
Article Title: John Stacey Adams: American psychologist - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/john-stacey-adams/
Publish Date: 15 Nov 2016
Date Accessed: 22 Oct 2020
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