The process that account for
an individual’s intensity,
direction, and persistence of
effort towards attaining a
3. Reinforcement theory
Reinforcement theory dominated the
motivation literature until early 1960s,
conceptualizes motivation entirely in terms of
This theory assumes that behavior is caused
by events external to the person and that
behavior can be understood in terms of simple
laws that apply to both human beings and
According to this theory, individuals exhibit a
particular behavior because they have been
reinforced (rewarded) for that behavior in the
Behavior modification: The process of using
reinforcement principles to change behavior.
4. Reinforcement theory (continued)
Skinner (1974) defined consequences that influence the probability
1- Positive reinforcement increases the probability of behaviors that
they were contingent upon.
2- Negative reinforcement increases the probability of behaviors by
taking away or reducing its intensity.
3- Punishments reduce the probability of behaviors.
5. Reinforcement theory (continued)
Punishment may be effective when positive
reinforcers are also used.
Without using positive reinforcers, punishment leads
to only short term suppression of the undesirable
If managers frequently use punishment, it may
create a fearful atmosphere, which undermines
learning and the effectiveness of communication.
6. Reinforcement theory (continued)
Some important points for using rewards effectively:
1- Use reward to get individuals engaged in an activity, and then gradually withdraw
the reward when they show some interest.
2- Make sure that it is clear to individuals what behavior the reward is contingent.
3- Reward genuine achievements, such as high levels of effort and persistence.
Avoid rewarding performance that required little or no effort.
4- Use the most modest reward that will work.
5-Make sure that the time between the desired behavior and the reward is not so
great that reward has no effect.
6- Make sure that rewards are realistically available.
7- Make sure that you treat employees fairly!
7. Equity theory (J. Stacy Adams)
Adams described the employment relationship
as an exchange relationship in which
employees contributed inputs and received
outcomes in return.
Inputs: education, previous work experience,
effort on the job, training, and etc.
Outcomes: Pay, recognition, praise by
supervisors, promotion, and etc.
8. Equity theory (continued)
According to this theory, every employee compares
himself/herself with other employees.
When an inequity is perceived, there are six choices:
4. Changing inputs
5. Changing outcomes
6. Distorting perception of self or others
7. Changing the inputs or outcomes of the referent
8. Choosing a different referent
9. Leaving the field
9. Equity theory (continued)
procedural justice, the perceived fairness of the
process used to determine the distribution of
rewards, has strong impact on organizational
commitment, trust in managers, intention to quit,
and organizational citizenship behaviors.
Distributive justice (fairness of allocation) is more
important for job satisfaction.
Research has shown that perceived distributive
justice is greatly influenced by perceived procedural
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