Work Adjustment Theory Of

See WORK/CAREER/OCCUPATION, THEORIES OF.

WORK/CAREER/OCCUPATION, THEORIES OF. The psychological study of work, career, and occupational factors ranges from theories of decision-making in career development to ergonomic/ergopsychometry/anth-ropometry, human engineering/human factors, work fatigue/efficiency, applications research, and work motivation theories. Theories of career development fall into one of several classes: trait-oriented, systems-oriented, personality-oriented, or developmental. Although no single approach seems to dominate the field, each has its own particular utility for career/work/occupation counselors. Once a person makes a career decision, potential problems exist in terms of worker productivity, adjustment to the stress/strain of the workplace, and level of job satisfaction. Theories in vocational psychology may be divided into four main categories: matching approaches (involves theories and methods based on studies in the area of differential psychology and on situational theories); phe-nomenological approaches (involves self-concept theory and congruence theory; cf., consistency theory of work behavior - holds that work behavior is based on two allied premises: a balance concept and a self-image standard; the theory predicts that workers will engage in satisfying behaviors that maximize their sense of cognitive balance and will be motivated to perform in a way that is consistent with their self-image); developmental approaches (includes role theory and life-stage theory), and decision-making approaches. Theories of work/job efficiency attempt to account for effective work performance and how stress, strain, boredom, fatigue, and other negative consequences of work affect one's health and well-being. The theories of work motivation may be grouped into two broad areas: universalistic theories - posit widespread applicability to the work environment, and contingency theories - focus on individual differences that influence motivation levels. Among the universalistic theories are A. Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory - proposes that human behavior is a result of at tempts to satisfy currently unsatisfied needs where the needs are arranged in a hierarchical order such that the satisfaction of a prior level of need leads to a need for satisfaction at a succeeding level [cf., existence, relatedness, and growth theory, or ERG theory, is a variation of Mas-low's hierarchy of needs theory as applied to occupational/industrial settings, where need categories include existence needs (relative to the person's physical needs such as food, clothing, and shelter), relatedness needs (relating to interpersonal relations with others, both on and off the job), and growth needs]; F. Herzberg's two-factor theory - asserts that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are caused by different work-related factors such as achievement, recognition, advancement, growth, and responsibility as satisfiers, and lack of company policy, administration, technical support/ supervision, salary, job security, fringe benefits, and status as dissatisfiers; and D. McClelland's achievement motivation theory - focuses on the needs of power, affiliation, and achievement as prominent work-related factors. Among the contingency theories are B. F. Skinner's stimulus-response and operant conditioning theory - argues that human behavior is not motivated by needs within an individual but by the external environment and the rewards and punishments that it provides; J. S. Adams' equity theory - assumes that persons are motivated by a desire to be treated equitably on their jobs; and V. H. Vroom's force model in occupational choice and expectancy theory (also called valence-expectancy theory and valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory) - asserts that a person's motivation to perform is a function of both perceived desirability and attainability of outcomes, and suggests the behavior is affected by degree of certainty/uncertainty that some outcome will follow the behavior, and how much that outcome is valued by the worker (cf., instrumentality theory - a cognitive approach to work motivation that states that a person's attitude about an event/work depends on the perception of the event's/work's function as an instrument in obtaining the desirable, or undesirable, consequences; and role-expectations hypothesis - posits that confirmation of employees' prior expectations about the nature of their jobs results in lower job turn-over and higher degrees of organizational commitment and job satisfaction). Closely related to work motivation is the issue of occupational adjustment, which is also a major source of personal identity and role definition. One well-formulated theory of work adjustment (cf., Lofquist & Dawis, 1969) maintains that occupational environments provide different patterns of reinforcement that interact with a person's needs and abilities, and where harmony between an individual and the work environment results in satisfaction and, as a consequence, greater level of work stability (cf., job-characteristics model - holds that particular needs of employees, such as autonomy, feedback, identity, significance, and task variety, influence job adjustment, satisfaction, and other employee outcomes; range-of-affect hypothesis - in the prediction of job satisfaction, this conjecture attempts to explain how the discrepancies between what one already has, and what one wants, determine the potential range of satisfaction yielded by a given job aspect/facet; and vitamin model of employee satisfaction - states that different aspects of work, much like taking daily dosages of vitamins, need to be present, at least minimally, in order to produce a satisfied employee). The theories of motivation and adjustment have practical implications for work-related activities in organizations and contribute to the maximization of job satisfaction and worker morale. See also BALANCE, PRINCIPLES/THEORY OF; DECISIONMAKING THEORIES; DEVELOPMENTAL THEORY; LEADERSHIP, THEORIES OF; MAS-LOW'S THEORY OF PERSONALITY; MOTIVATION, THEORIES OF; ORGANIZATIONAL/INDUSTRIAL/SYSTEMS THEORY; PERSONALITY THEORIES; ROLE-THEORY OF PERSONALITY; SELF-CONCEPT THEORY; SITUATIONAL THEORY OF LEADERSHIP. REFERENCES

Taylor, F. (1903). Shop management. New

York: Harper. Gilbreth, F. (1911). Motion study, a method for increasing efficiency. New York: Van Nostrand.

Maslow, A. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370-396.

McClelland, D., Atkinson, J., Clark, R., & Lowell, E. (1953). The achievement motive. New York: A-C-C. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. (1959). The motivation to work. New York: Wiley. Adams, J. S. (1963). Toward an understanding of inequity. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 422-436. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation.

New York: Wiley. Osipow, S. (1968/1983). Theories of career development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Lofquist, L., & Dawis, R. (1969). Adjustment to work. New York: A-C-C. Skinner, B. F. (1971). Beyond freedom and dignity. New York: Bantam Books. Super, D. (1994). Career development. In R. J.

Corsini (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychology. New York: Wiley. Latham, G. P., & Pinder, C. C. (2005). Work motivation theory and research at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Annual Review of Psychology, 56, 485-516.

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Responses

  • robinia
    How does theory of Adjustment relate with work environment and efficiency of employees?
    1 year ago
  • Russell
    What are the theory of psychological adjustment?
    12 months ago
  • SUSAN TURNER
    What is abnormality in relation to congnitive and universalism theories?
    10 months ago

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