Essays on How Can Equity Theory Be Used to Motivate Employees at Bain & Company Case Study

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The paper 'How Can Equity Theory Be Used to Motivate Employees at Bain & Company" is a perfect example of a management case study. The motivation  of employees is an essential aspect that greatly influences how employees behave in the organization. However in recent years, especially after the harsh implications of the recent economic downturn, motivating employees can rather challenge for organizations. As witnessed during the crisis many organizations took harsh remedies on employees in order to cut costs. This includes downsizing and also reduction of bonuses and salaries that employees received.

Bain & Company, however, is quite unique in the sense that instead of cutting back sharply Steve, Ellis the CEO of the company is hiring additional consultants. Motivation is, therefore, a crucial factor in Bain & Company. This paper seeks to evaluate how various motivational theories can be used to motivate employees in the company. How can equity theory be used to motivate employees at Bain & Company The equity theory was initiated in 1963, by John Stacey Adams. Adams centered his approach on the aspect of fairness in social relationships within the organization.

According to Adams when rewards, punishments and resources are distributed in relations an employee output/contribution, then the employee is bound to maintain equity between the contributions they make to the organization and the results that they attain from the organization (Adams, 1965). One of the ways in which the equity theory can be used to motivate employees at the Bain & Company is by establishing an organizational culture of fairness within the organization. As highlighted by the equity theory many employees greatly focus their minds on how they are treated.

This, therefore, influences how they perform their tasks and also how they relate to other employees within the organization. Bain & Company intends to increase the numbers of staff in the company by recruiting young and energetic workforce even amidst the tough implications that were brought about by the economic downturn. Although it is argued that talent is cheaper, due to the fact that the new ideas derived from talent can assist the company to gain market share. It is vital for the company to establish a culture of fairness both for the incoming employees and the already existing employees within the organization. For instance the after recruiting the new staff the company should not dismiss the views of the already existing staff just because they want to tap new ideas from the fresh and knowledgeable newly recruited staff.

As highlighted by the case, talent retention is actually an essential aspect during the recession. Many managers tend to forget that they need to talent retention especially during tough times which require them to cut costs and also come up with strategies that the keep the company on its feet.

It is, therefore, essential Bain & Company to retain the talents of the employees who were already in the organization, despite the existence of new recruits with more knowledge and skill. Talent retention of the employees who were in the company earlier may involve giving them more areas to work on, getting their ideas and also taking them for more training. Another way in which the equity theory can be used to motivate the employees of Bain & company is through establishing an equal level of input/outcome for all employees with similar qualifications.

According to Adams, employees tend to make a comparison of their inputs that is; their quality of performance, efforts and training and their outputs which include their remuneration and their job titles. As a result, if there is equity in these aspects, then the employee is bound to perform well and relate well in the organization. It is therefore essential for Bain & company to establish as an equal level of input/outcome for all deserving employees. For instance, based on the fact that the company is interested in grabbing very talented people, who have just come from the MBA class with all the skills and knowledge, this does not imply that the benefits and rewards given to this new employees should be far better the employees who were already in the organization and have the same qualifications.

Furthermore, the job titles of the new staff should be accorded according to their level of training.


Amstrong, M, 2006, Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Edition, Kogan Page Limited, London.

Adams, J.S. 1965. Inequity in social exchange. Adv. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 62:335-343.

Friedman, B, Cox, L, Larry, E, 2008, An Expectancy Theory Motivation Approach to Peer Assessment. Journal of Management Education , 32 (5), 580-612.

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