Expectancy vs. Equity Report


For organizations to achieve their respective missions, they should motivate their employees and volunteers. Thus, managers/CEOs should establish, ratify, and embrace motivational provisions within the workforce. This is applicable in all organizations (whether for-profit or not) and forms an important requirement in this context. This paper considers the merits of the expectancy and equity theories with regard to employee motivation.

This occurs in order to develop an effective incentive program meant to motivate employees, increasing productivity, and allowing the organization to fulfill its missions considerably as indicated before (Humphreys & Einstein, 2004). The designed program will serve to motivate both employees and volunteers of non-profit organizations. It will also consider how to utilize monetary and non-monetary factors effectively.

Identifying unique interests of the non-profit managers

Evidently, managers of non-profit organizations possess unique interests meant to enable them accomplish their respective obligations. This regards organizational growth and achievement of desired objectives. Since such organizations are not aiming to make huge monetary returns (non-profit), it is important that they attain their preset objectives.

This is only achievable when employees are highly motivated and strive to accomplish their respective obligations.

Precisely, non-profit managers endeavor to work with limited resources, have a mission-driven workforce, attain a prosperous organization, and accomplish the organization’s obligations promptly as scheduled. As indicated before, this provision requires motivated employees and volunteers charged to accomplish their mandates in a timely manner.

Additionally, there are different types and levels of personnel that the developed plan should recognize. In this context, any non-profit organization might have volunteers, subordinate staff, junior employees, line managers, unit managers, CEOs, and directors plus their deputies.

These are major groups constituting the entire workforce; nonetheless, each group can be subdivided to suit the missions and structure of the concerned organization.

Equity, Expectancy, or Hybrid

The principles of both Equity and expectancy theories can be adopted in developing a useful recognition plan for motivating employees. Equity theory indicates that employees will be motivated if they realize that the benefits (both monetary and non-monetary) they obtain from their employer (concerned non-profit organization) equal or surpass those of other organizations operating in the similar caliber.

This is a critical provision when considered on the workforce’s context. In case the benefits are less, it is probable that employees and volunteers will be less motivated. This might interfere with their overall productivity (Klein, 1973). Conversely, expectancy theory indicates that the future prospects of employees can motivate them considerably.

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Creating positive expectations or outcomes for future organizational events can obviously motivate the concerned workforce. This is a crucial consideration in the entire operational and motivational contexts. Upon critical deliberations, it is important to argue that either equity theory or expectancy theory cannot be applied solitarily for developing the desired recognition plan in the realms of workforce motivation.

For this matter, a hybrid approach will be quite appropriate. As employees compare their respective benefits with those of others entities (equity theory), they should also prospect positive events in future (expectancy theory). These will obviously raise their morale hence accomplishing their duties promptly.

The organization will eventually obtain its missions in the similar context. Hence, combining the two theories (hybrid approach) will be contextually preferable.

Explaining how Equity or Expectancy theory is more effective in motivating employees at different levels

Both equity and expectancy theories are helpful in motivating employees as alleged earlier. With regard to the equity theory, it is recognizable that employees will observe the aspects of impartiality, fairness, and justice practiced by the management.

If they perceive these provisions positively, they will obviously get motivated (Skiba & Rosenberg, 2011). Conversely, the aspects of unfairness, inequality, and injustice will obviously demoralize the concerned workforce.

This provision indicates the applicability of equity theory in the context of motivation. Both equity and expectancy theories are applicable and effective in motivating employees at different levels within the organization. Both CEOs and administrative assistants require equity, fairness, and justice in their job specifications in order to perform considerably.

Concurrently, Expectancy theory equally provides employees with such provisions. All employees and volunteers regardless of the rank need to have positive expectations and future organizational and individual prospects in order to remain focused and motivated in their works.

The theory renders employees (the entire workforce) hopeful in their endeavors. They consequently desire to achieve the projected objectives both at personal organizational level.

Justifying expectancy or equity theory in managing workforce

It is justifiable that both equity and expectancy theories are viable provisions in managing workforce (from a non-profit organization in this context). This is evident in articulating its impacts on both paid staff and volunteer workers. Both groups need motivational provisions in their endeavors. Additionally, there should be no differences developed in the recognition programs for all categories of staff.

Equity should be exercised within the entire organization and to all employees regardless of their ranks. Employees and volunteers should be treated equitably and accordingly.

This is a critical condition in the entire context. Concurrently, the organization should set future prospects, which are motivating to the entire workforce. Despite the variability of job specifications among different employees, the ultimate motivational aspects should be universal for all.

Presence or Absence of a reward system for organizational performance, divisional performance, individual performance, or combination

Incentives and rewards are important provisions within the workforce. Their presence or absence within the organization can pose considerable impacts. Precisely, the presence of a viable reward system within the organization can enhance performance since employees will be highly motivated, prospective, and productive. Consequently, the organization will attain its objectives in a timely manner.

Conversely, the absence of such reward systems will demoralize employees and volunteers. This will reduce organizational performance. Concurrently, similar effects will be realized with the divisional performance (Chen, Gupta & Hoshower, 2006).

The presence of reward systems will enhance the division performance while its absence will deprive it. When individual employees are less motivated, it is agreeable that their performances will diminish. This indicates why it is very important to establish, ratify, and nurture reward systems within non-profit organizations.

How equity and expectancy theory address group versus individual goals

Equity and expectancy theories tend to address group goals by advocating for uniformity in the realms of fairness, justice, and impartiality within the workforce.

Additionally, they create common prospective expectations within the entire organization (Miner, 2007). Consequently, both employees and the management will endeavor to accomplish their obligations for the company to attain its projected missions. Individuals will equally gain their respective goals and projected motivation.


Non-profit organizations’ managers have unique interests in their endeavors. It is important to conclude that both equity and expectancy theories are applicable within non-profit organizations. This relates to benefits they offer with respect to employees’ motivation. This is a critical concern when scrutinized decisively. It is important to create a plan that addresses these provisions with vastness, precision, and appropriateness.


Chen, Y., Gupta, A. & Hoshower, L. (2006). Factors that motivate business faculty to conduct research: An expectancy theory analysis. Journal of Education for Business, 81(4), 179-189.

Humphreys, J. & Einstein, W. (2004). Leadership and temperament congruence: Extending the expectancy model of work motivation. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10(4), 58-79.

Klein, S. (1973). Pay factors as predictors to satisfaction: A comparison of reinforcement, equity, and expectancy. Academy of Management Journal (Pre-1986), 16(4), 598-598.

Miner, J. (2007). Organizational behavior: New York, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

Skiba, M. & Rosenberg, S. (2011). The disutility of equity theory in contemporary management practice. The Journal of Business and Economic Studies, 17(2), 1-19.