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Gender, equity, and job satisfaction.
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  • Abstract:
    Although equity theory has served as a theoretical framework applying to most individuals in most situations, empirical research suggests that gender may affect the utility of equity theory in explaining organizational behaviors. Studies have indicated that men are more likely than women to distribute outcomes to individuals in direct proportion to their input. This gender difference has brought about considerable research interest and concern for implications in work groups and in supervisor-subordinate interactions.

    Brockner and Adsit (1986) noted an important but untested implication that the equity norm is more salient for men than it is for women. They argued that men's satisfaction with an exchange relationship should be influenced by the presence or absence of equity more so than women's satisfaction. They reported data indicating that the equity-satisfaction relationship was considerably stronger among men than among women. The Brockner and Adsit (1986) finding has an important implication for organizational theory, namely that equity perceptions may be more salient among men than women in the development of job satisfaction. Replication of their findings would suggest a need for further research in this area and a possible utility of different strategies for managing men and women for purposes of promoting job satisfaction with a focus on equity-relate issues and antecedents.

    Contrary results, however, would suggest a need for caution in considering such strategies. The present study tested the hypothesis that the equity-satisfaction relationship would he higher for men than for women. Meta-analyses conducted on data collected from FAA personnel failed to confirm the hypothesis. However, the results reinforced the importance of equity as a correlate of job satisfaction.

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