The Relationship between Organizational Health and Bullying That Teachers Experience in Primary Schools in Turkey

Article excerpt

The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between organizational health and the bullying that teachers experience in primary schools in Turkey. Two measurement instruments were used in this research. The Organizational Health Inventory (OHI-S), Hoy and Miskel, (1991) was used to measure organizational health. The Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ), developed by Einarsen and Raknes (1997) was used to measure bullying, the other variable of the research. The NAQ was adapted to Turkish for linguistic and cultural reasons. The OHI-S and NAQ were administrated to the 337 teachers making up the sampling of the research. In this study, Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated for all variables. Later, by using the 7 sub-scales of the OHI-S as the independent variables and school bullying as the dependent variable, a multiple regression analysis was done. At the end of the research, it was found that from among the organizational health subdimensions, Initiating Structure (IS) 4.70 was more frequently realized, The Academic Emphasis (AE) 10.18 subdimension was less frequently realized and 50% of the teachers were exposed to bullying. Hence, there was a negative relationship between organizational health and teachers' exposure to bullying, and organizational health was an indicator of bullying experience.


There are various factors in the organizational structure of schools which affect communication among teachers. Research in the relevant areas suggest that teachers are exposed to considerable work loads which results in stress and frustration, and that at least one third of teachers suffer from overstress and fatigue (Boyle, Borg, Falzon, and Baglioni, 1995; Capel, 1991; Friesen, Prokop, and Sarros, 1988; Friesen and Sarros, 1989; Dick and Wagner , 2001). Kyriacou and Sutcliffe (1978) categorize the causes of stress in teachers into two types, physical and psychological. In other studies, there are issues mentioned, such as the low status of the profession, insufficient salary, behaviors and attitudes of managers, interpersonal relations, role conflicts, and supervision and communication type (Borg and Riding, 1991; Pehlivan, 1993; Asian, 1995; Tumkaya, 1996; Atakh, 1999; Demir, 1997; Kayum, 2002; Ozdayi, 1990). Research shows that there is a significant relationship between bullying in other types of organizations and stress in workers (Brodsky, 1976; Einarsen, Matthiesen and Skogstad, 1998; Zapf, Knorz, and Kulla, 1996). Einarsen and Raknes (1997) suggest that 23% of male workers who are bullying victims in organizations suffer from psychological disorders and frustrations; there are psychological and psychosomatic disorders found in most bullying victims. It was found that workers suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, lack of concentration, chronic fatigue, sleeping disorders, digestive problems, headaches, pain in the loins, irritability, self hatred, and suicidal tendencies (Bjorkqvist, Osterman and Hjelt-Back, 1994; Brodsky, 1976; Einarsen, Raknes, Matthiesen, and Hellesay, 19%; Leymann, 1990). Jennifer, Cowie, and Ananiadou (2003) describe bullying as a recurring condition in workers which causes stress. A condition must be recurring for at least six months to be considered bullying. The characteristic definition of bullying is that it is exposure to negative behaviors which have been recurring for quite some time. Contrary to conflict between workers in an organization, bullying is the systemic aggression by some towards one or more target persons (Hoel, Rayner & Cooper, 1999).

Leymann (1993) presents evidence that poor occupational organization and administrative problems result in bullying. The research by Einarsen, Raknes, and Matuiiesen (1994), Vartia (1996), and Zapf and Osterwalder (1998) support this view. All suggest that there is a strong relationship between organizational variables and bullying. According to Leymann (1996), some of the reasons for bullying in organizations can be organizational relationships, dominance problems within organizations and leadership styles in organizations. …