Work Adjustment Theory (TWA)

Dawis & Lofquist 1984

Work Asjustment Theory is a theory of satisfaction and needs, for instance between employers/worker environment (E) and employees/person (P). The theory posits that a person would act on environmental stimuli and the other way round. Balanced P-E correspondence graphic

However, when the correspondence between P and E has reached a certain treshold of imbalance, a worker will act on their environment’s demands and the environment will react to a worker’s lack of action to its stimuli. For example: 

  • when an employer expects too much from a worker or if work is boring and uninspiring, an employee will respond by looking for other work or taking other action if a threshold has been reached
  • an employer may expect an employee to do certain tasks to a set standard. When the employee is not fulfilling what an employer requires, they can be sacked. Or when an employee doesn’t have the skills to do a certain task, the employer may require the employee to engage in additional training. 
  • an employee may have creative ideas to improve the employer’s output. The employer responds by implementing the ideas and the employee will have a more interesting job as a result.

Imbalanced graphic

To enable us to measure the level of balance/imbalance and to understand better the relationship between P and E, additional analysis of both is required. Measurement graphic

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