32 SES 05 A, Organizational Commitment of Teachers
Work environment is rapidly changing and becoming more global, competitive, and diverse. Ample studies (Chalofsky, 2003; Steger & Dik, 2010) pointed out the significance of qualified, engaged, and committed employees for maintaining and promoting organizational productivity. Employees with high level of job engagement and organizational commitment would be critical for improving productivity (Somech & Ron, 2007) and extra role behaviors (Duyar & Aydin, 2012), as well as decreasing turnover levels (Vance, 2006).
While organizations have started to attribute more weight to work engagement, most U.S. employees are not fully engaged in their work (Gallup, 2013). Only 34% of U.S. workers are found to be engaged in their job (Harter, 2018). Similarly, low employee job engagement was also reported in Turkey. Schaufeli (2018) analyzed the possible differences in job engagement among European countries based on the average employee job engagement levels of the nations. He noted that the job engagement level of employees in Turkey is lower compared to the other European countries (e.g., Ireland, Norway, and Holland). While the employees of the Netherlands (33.4%) and Belgium (32%) are found “highly engaged”, the Turkish employees (18.5%) were “little engaged” in this study.
The circumstances is even worse in educational institutions. Hasting and Agrawal (2015) found 70% of teachers as “not engaged” or “disengaged” in their daily work. Similarly, Hodges (2015) revealed that “not-so-engaged” teachers (57%) simply go to school and follow their routine work without any energy or desire, while disengaged teachers (13%) intentionally do not make any effort to complete their schoolwork. These findings in the relevant literature suggested a need of further analysis of employees’ job engagement both in educational and non-educational organizations.
The relevant literature pointed out to the presence of teachers’ “engagement gap” in educational settings and suggested the examination of determinants of such gap by focusing on low levels of teachers’ perceived organizational support, organizational identification, principals’ authentic leadership (Hakanen et al., 2006; Saks, 2006). This study addressed such a need in the literature by comparatively examining the influence of these three variables on teachers’ job engagement and commitment in Turkey and the United States.
The purpose of the study was to comparatively examine the determinants of teachers’ job engagement (JE) and organizational commitment (OC) in Turkey and the United States, two culturally distinct countries. Teachers’ organizational identification(OI) perceived organizational support (POS), and principals’ authentic leadership (AL) were the independent variables.
Theoretical Foundations and Conceptual Framework
The social exchange and objective self-awareness theories guided the current study. This section discusses the historical development of guiding theories and provides a theoretical basis for the hypothesized relationships between the study variables (teachers’ perceived organizational support, authentic leadership, teachers’ organizational identification, job engagement, and organizational commitment).
The figure 1 demonstrates the study variables and hypothesized relationships between and among study variables.
Enter Figure 1 Here
The current study attempted to answer the following research questions:
- Do principals’ authentic leadership, teachers’ perceived organizational support, organizational identification, job engagement, organizational commitment differ by country origin (i.e., Turkey and the United States) after controlling for the teachers’ demographic attributes?
- Do principals’ authentic leadership, teachers’ organizational identification, and perceived organizational support significantly influence teachers’ organizational commitment and its dimensions: (a) affective, (b) continuance, and (c) normative commitment in (i) Turkey and (ii) the United States after controlling the teachers’ demographic attributes?
- Do principals’ authentic leadership, teachers’ organizational identification, and perceived organizational support significantly influence teachers’ job engagement and its dimensions: (a) vigor, (b) dedication, and (c) absorption in (i) Turkey and (ii) the United States after controlling for the teachers' demographic attributes?
The current study employed casual-comparative and cross-national research designs for the examination of dynamics between the independent variables and dependent variables in two culturally distinct countries (Turkey and the United States). Causal comparative designs allow comparisons between groups without manipulating independent variables (Creswell, 2003). The study also employed a cross-national design. Cross-national studies aim to collect data about the concepts of an investigation within distinct structures and acquire a better and deeper understanding and awareness of social phenomena in different settings (Hantrais & Mangen, 1996). Ross and Genevois (2006) argued that cross-national comparative studies offer several unique research opportunities. The population of interest of the current study was all teachers who were working for public or private schools with 1-12 grades in Ankara (the capital city of Turkey) and school districts in and vicinity of Little Rock (the capital city of the State of Arkansas-USA). A simple cluster random sampling was used to sample teachers in schools in Ankara and Little Rock. In simple cluster random sampling, the population was divided into several groups based on study inclusion criteria, and each individual in the groups had an equal chance of being chosen as a participant of a study (Sekaran & Bougie, 2016). Sampling inclusion criteria were school configuration (e.g., elementary, middle, and high schools) and school type (i.e., public and schools). After the exclusion of missing cases and outliners (39), the study sample included 319 teachers from Ankara, Turkey and 192 teachers from the State of Arkansas in the United States. The data-gathering instrument was an identical online teacher questionnaire for Turkey and the United States. The study variables were measured by using previously developed and validated scales. More specifically, the measures included the Perceived Organizational Support Survey (Eisenberger et al., 1986); the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008); the Employee Job engagement Scale (Schaufeli et al., 2001); and Three-Component Model of Organizational Commitment Scale (Meyer and Allen, 1993). Following the data cleaning procedures, including removing outliers and missing cases, a multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was conducted to test the first research question. The answers for the second and third research questions were based on the structural equation model (SEM) through the use of path analysis. A two-step analysis was conducted to analyze the hypothesized structural patterns between the study variables.
First research question sought whether country of origin has any differentiating effect on study variables. The analysis of data for this question revealed that after controlling for experience, level of education, and level of school taught at, country had a significant multivariate effect on the dependent measures, Wilks’ Λ = .74; F(7, 468) = 22.97, p < .001, partial η2 = .256. Second research question sought to determine whether teachers’ organizational identification, authentic leadership behaviors of principals, and teachers’ perceived organizational support would significantly influence teachers’ affective, normative, and continuance commitment in (a) Turkey and (b) the United States, after controlling for demographics. Third research question sought to determine whether teachers’ organizational identification, authentic leadership behaviors of principals, and teachers’ perceived organizational support would significantly influence the vigor, dedication, and absorption dimensions of teachers’ job engagement in (a) Turkey and (b) the United States after controlling for demographics. Recent literature on the cross-national studies have revealed that different cultural structures may influence leadership behaviors, values, and employees’ organizational attributes, such as organizational commitment and counterproductive work behaviors (Hofstede, 2001). The findings of the current study on the influence of different national cultures on employees’ organizational behavioral outcomes are consistent with the relevant literature, which showed that national culture is an influential factor in shaping organizational behaviors of employees (Duyar & Aydin, 2012; Hofstede, 2001). According to the findings of Schaufeli (2018), it was expected that teachers’ job engagement level in the United States would be higher than their Turkish peers as Turkey has a collectivistic cultural structure, while the United States is an extremely individualistic culture (Halub et al., 2012). Furthermore, organizations in the United States use more two-way and side-by-side communications than Turkish organizations where “most employees accept a hierarchical order” (Hofstede, 2018, p. 104).
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