01 SES 06 B, Networks and Collaborative Approaches to Professional Learning
Recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in prosocial elements that make a positive difference in other people's lives (Brief & Motowidlo, 1986; Grant & Sonnentag, 2010). However, less attention has been paid to being prosocial itself among teachers although many educational researchers recognize the importance of helping and benefiting each other in teacher collaboration (Tschannen-Moran, 2001). Thus, this paper attempts to investigate whether teachers’ prosocial impact and motivation affect turnover intention when teachers perceive their work environment as collaborative.
According to the Job Impact Framework by Grant (2007), relational job architecture, where people’s interpersonal interactions and connections are embedded, enhances perception of prosocial impact. The perception of prosocial impact leads to boosting prosocial motivation, thereby increasing job persistence (Grant, 2007). Although prosocial elements have been explored in several studies, the relationships between teacher collaboration, prosociality and behavioural outcomes have not been investigated.
Collaboration in School as Relational Job Architecture
Collaboration is characterised when teachers and colleagues perform to achieve shared goals as significant impacts (Jäppinen, Leclerc, & Tubin, 2015). Teachers’ collaboration possesses the nature of the relational job architecture: opportunities to realize that one’s efforts can have a substantial impact on the beneficiaries and moments to contact beneficiaries whom one affects (Grant, 2007). In other words, teachers are benefitting and helping someone in schools. For example, students are the end-beneficiaries of teachers, and teachers are also people who are helped by colleagues when teacher collaboration happens.
Prosocial impact refers to the experience of one's work as significant and purposeful through its connection to the welfare of other people or the perception of making a positive difference in the lives of others through one’s work (Grant 2007). Considering the viewpoint that teachers are the persons who are helping and collaborating with each other in an organization (Tschannen-Moran, 2001), colleagues are considered as important beneficiaries.
Prosocial motivation is an allocentric psychological state or a desire to benefit or help other people or groups (Batson, 1987). In educational research, teachers are found to have such prosocial values including caring, altruism, and servant leadership (e.g., Cerit, 2009; Noddings, 2006; Stewart, 2012). For example, helping behaviours of teachers stem from other-oriented value and the willingness of teachers to go beyond the formal requirements of their positions (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001; Oplatka, 2013).
Turnover intention is regarded as the intentions by movers who depart to teaching jobs in other schools and leavers who leave the teaching occupation (Ingersoll, 2001). This study considers turnover intention as a reflective concept of job persistence.
First, teachers involved in collaboration are people who perceive prosocial impact. This is because they feel valued when their contributions leading to benefitting others prove to be successful (Crowther, Ferguson, & Hann, 2009; Guramatunhu-Mudiwa & Scherz, 2013).
Hypothesis 1: Perception of collaboration in school will be positively related to perceived prosocial impact.
Second, interaction with the beneficiaries such as colleagues provides opportunities to fulfil their values to benefit others, thereby promoting prosocial motivation of people (Bellé, 2013).
Hypothesis 2: Perceived prosocial impact will be positively related to perceived prosocial motivation.
Third, while high prosocial motivation energises people to work harder and longer, people with low prosocial motivation are likely to think about turnover (Bright, 2008; J. Hu & Liden, 2015).
Hypothesis 3: Perceived prosocial motivation will be negatively related to turnover intention.
Finally, according to the Job Impact Framework by Grant (2007), the relationships between collaboration and turnover intention are mediated by prosocial impact and prosocial motivation.
Hypothesis 4: Prosocial impact and prosocial motivation will mediate the relationship between perception of collaboration in school and turnover intention.
Ethical considerations Ethical guidelines were taken from the official Finnish guidelines on Responsible Conduct of Research and Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct in Finland (Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity 2012). These guidelines correspond to the ethical guidelines of Japanese research institutions. Procedure and participants A questionnaire survey approach was employed in the study. We invited 260 teachers from elementary and junior-high schools in a prefecture located in Midwestern Japan. The mean age of the participants was 39.88 years (SD = 11.505) and 39.2% of the participants were male. These numbers roughly represent the general teacher population in Japan (MEXT, 2017, OECD-TALIS, 2013). Instruments Perception of collaboration in school was measured with the scale developed by one of the authors based on previous studies. One sample item of perception of collaboration is, “When working together, I feel that everyone’s contribution is considered” (four items, α = .76). Prosocial impact was measured with the scale adapted from Grant (2008b). One sample item of prosocial impact is, “I feel that I can have a positive impact on others through my work” (three items, α = .88). Prosocial motivation was measured with the scale adapted from Grant (2008a). After an introductory question asks, “Why are you motivated to do the work as a teacher?”, participants responded to the items. One sample item is, “Because I want to help others through my work,” (four items, α = .89). Turnover intention was measured with the scale adapted from Camman et al. (1979). A sample item of turnover intention is, “I often think about quitting” (three items, α = .66). Analysis We analysed the data analysis using the SPSS software (IBM 2012) version 22 and Mplus version 7.0 (Muthén and Muthén 2007). First, to assess the construction among the four variables (i.e., collaboration, prosocial motivation, prosocial impact and turnover intention), the study employed confirmatory factor analysis. The four-factor model exhibited a good model fit to the data (x2 (69) = 157.342, p < .001, RMSEA = .070, CFI = .949, SRMR = .046) presented by previous studies (Hu & Bentler, 1999), and yielded a better fit than the one-factor model (i.e., the four variables as one combined factor) (x2 (77) = 750.07, p < .001, RMSEA = .183, CFI = .612, SRMR = .118). After confirmatory factor analysis ensured the four-factor model, structural equation modelling (SEM) was employed to examine the hypothesised relationships among variables.
The SEM showed that the fit indices of the hypothesized path model exhibited a good model fit (x2 (70) = 159.893; p = .00; RMSEA = .070; CFI = .948; SRMR = .047). Accordingly, these indices provided a reasonable fit to the data (Hooper, Coughlan, & Mullen, 2008; L. Hu & Bentler, 1999). The results showed that collaboration was positively related to prosocial impact (β = .32, p < .01), which in turn was positively associated with prosocial motivation (β = .60, p < .01). Moreover, prosocial motivation was negatively related to turnover intention (β = -.37, p < .01). Therefore, our findings fully supported Hypotheses 1, 2, and 3. Furthermore, the mediated relationships were tested. Collaboration was found to be positively directly related to prosocial motivation (β = .18, p < .05), and to be negatively directly related to turnover intention (β = -.28, p < .01). By employing the bootstrapping approach with 2.000 resamples via Mplus (Preacher & Hayes, 2004), the indirect effects of collaboration on turnover intention (β = .14, bias-corrected 95% CI = [-.24, -.04], excluding zero) via prosocial impact and prosocial motivation was found to be significant. Thus, our findings fully supported Hypotheses 4: prosocial impact and prosocial motivation partially mediated the relationship between collaboration and prosocial motivation (p < .05). These results point out that collaboration in school provides teachers with the opportunities to interact and communicate, which enhance their concerns about the needs of their colleagues, enthusiasm to promote effective collaborative work, and willingness to work longer in the work place. Thus, teachers are motivated to help others more, and do not contemplate leaving their school. Lastly, the mediation roles found in this study may reinforce the proposed model by Grant (2007).
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