Teachers' Deviant Workplace Behaviors: Scale Development

By Unal, Ali | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, May 2013 | Go to article overview

Teachers' Deviant Workplace Behaviors: Scale Development


Unal, Ali, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


To sustain its existence, an organization constitutes its own organizational norms and employees are favored who comply with these. However, employees may exhibit negative behavior that does not comply with the expectations and norms of the organization. Robinson and Bennett (1995) defined workplace deviance behavior (WDB) as "voluntary behavior that violates significant organizational norms and in so doing threatens the well-being of an organization, its members, or both" (p. 556). Robinson and Greenberg (1998) suggested a model of workplace deviance comprising five sequential steps: perpetrator, intention, target, action, and consequences. These behaviors have been explained as different concepts and researchers have used various terms to define them, such as organizational misbehavior (Vardi & Wiener, 1996), dysfunctional workplace behavior (Griffin, O'Leary-Kelly, & Collins, 1998), organization--motivated aggression (O'Leary-Kelly, Griffin, & Glew, 1996), antisocial behavior (Giacalone & Greenberg, 1997), workplace aggression (Baron & Neuman, 1996), and counterproductive behavior (Kelloway, Francis, Prosser, & Cameron, 2010). I have used the term WDB in the present study.

It has been estimated that WDB costs U.S. companies losses of between $6 billion and $200 billion annually (Murphy, 1993, as cited in Robinson & Bennett, 1995). In addition, WDB leads to misuse and loss of time, increases employee turnover, absences, and illness, and results in poor or lowered productivity, low morale, and litigation (O'Leary-Kelly et al., 1996). Despite the prevalence of WDB, the resulting pecuniary loss, and intangible damage, knowledge about WDB is limited.

Hollinger and Clark (1982) first measured workplace deviance based on a list of misbehaviors that are separated into two groups labeled property deviance and production deviance. According to Robinson and Bennett (1995), behaviors can be considered as WDB when they are conscious and have the potential to harm and/or threaten, or actually do harm or threaten, the well-being of an organization or individuals. Robinson and Bennett found that WDB varies along two dimensions: minor versus serious, and interpersonal (deviant behavior directed at other individuals in the organization) versus organizational (deviant behavior directed at the organization). Robinson and Bennett further divided WDB, based on these dimensions, into four categories: production deviance (minor organizational), property deviance (serious organizational), political deviance (minor interpersonal), and personal aggression (serious interpersonal). Bennett and Robinson (2000) developed a 7-item scale to measure interpersonal workplace deviance and a 12-item scale to measure organizational workplace deviance.

Although WDB has been researched by a number of scholars in recent years, to my knowledge, studies on WDB in schools have been limited to those of Sarwar, Awan, Alam, and Anwar (2010) and Unal (2012). Adapting the scales developed by Bennett and Robinson (2000), Sarwar et al. (2010) found that, compared with other WDB, interpersonal deviant behavior was the type exhibited most often at schools. Unal (2012) identified teachers' deviant behaviors in his study. Because there is no published English or Turkish scale that measures teachers' WDB and has been tested for validity and reliability, my aim in this study was to develop such a scale.

Method

Participants

I selected the sample of 3,201 teachers through the simple random sampling method from 7,331 primary and 3,223 secondary school teachers, who were employed during the 2011-2012 academic year in Konya, Turkey. From the selected sample, 2,641 were working in primary schools and 560 in secondary schools. Their average length of service was 9.1 years, 1,364 were women, and 1,807 were men.

The scale that I developed was published with an extension accessed with the individual password held by teachers in Turkey, on the official website of Konya Provincial Directorate of National Education. …

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