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Equity sensitivity theory: do we all want more than we deserve?

Ted H. Shore (Department of Management/HRM, College of Business Administration, California State University, Long Beach, California, USA)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



Predictions from equity sensitivity theory is reported by Huseman et al. were tested in a laboratory setting. As predicted, Benevolent individuals reported the highest pay satisfaction, perceived pay fairness, and lowest turnover intentions. Contrary to expectations, Entitled individuals did not report lower overall pay satisfaction, perceived pay fairness or higher turnover intentions than Equity Sensitive individuals. All three equity sensitivity groups preferred being over‐rewarded to being equitably rewarded, and were relatively distressed when under‐rewarded. The predicted interaction between equity sensitivity and reward level was not significant. Implications for the management of employees were discussed.



Shore, T.H. (2004), "Equity sensitivity theory: do we all want more than we deserve?", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 722-728.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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