What Should Be Done with Equity Theory?

New Approaches to the Study of Fairness in Social Relationships
  • Gerald S. Leventhal


The distribution of rewards and resources is a universal phenomenon that occurs in social systems of all sizes, from small groups to whole societies (Parsons, 1951; Parsons, Shils, & Olds, 1951). All groups, organizations, and societies deal with the question of allocating rewards, punishments, and resources. The manner in which a social system deals with these issues has great impact on its effectiveness and on the satisfaction of its members. For these reasons, it is not surprising that social scientists from many disciplines—political scientists, economists, sociologists, and psychologists—have been concerned with the problem of allocation (e.g., Jones & Kaufman, 1974; Leventhal, 1976a; Pondy, 1970).


Equity Theory Procedural Fairness Equality Rule Procedural Rule Distribution Rule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald S. Leventhal
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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