Problem Situation: People experience ups and downs in their job satisfaction and motivation levels at different points of their work lives for various reasons. One of the outputs of low job satisfaction and motivation is defined as “withdrawal behaviors” in the literature. Withdrawal behaviors are any employee behavior of withdrawal from duties and responsibilities as a result of a distance that grows between the employee and the organization. It is an important necessity to investigate such behaviors at educational institutions. Determining teachers’ withdrawal behaviors will be useful in enabling more effective and successful performance of their job. Also, considering that their withdrawal behaviors adversely affect the students’ success, investigation of such behaviors is an important necessity in respect to the quality of education.
Purpose: This study aims to identify teachers’ withdrawal behaviors and the relationship between such behaviors and work ethics based on the views of teachers and school administrators serving in public elementary schools.
Method: Designed in single and relational screening models, the study was conducted using a mixed research method. The study sample in quantitative dimension is comprised of 381 elementary school teachers and 198 elementary school administrators. Under the quantitative dimension of the study, 15 elementary school teachers and 15 school administrators were interviewed. Teachers’ withdrawal behaviors were studied using the “Withdrawal Behaviors Scale” and their views on work ethics were studied using the “Work Ethics Scale.” The quantitative data was collected using a semi-structured form.
Findings: According the results attained, teachers believe that they seldom exhibit physical and psychological withdrawal behaviors at school. School administrators, similarly, also believe that teachers seldom exhibit physical and psychological withdrawal behaviors. Of the physical withdrawal behaviors exhibited by the public elementary schools in Ankara, prolonging intermissions between the class sessions is the most common. This behavior is followed by not participating in in-service trainings, seminars, and symposia. As a psychological withdrawal behavior, the most common, according to the teachers, is expressing the intent to leave the school or profession at every opportunity, and the most common, according to the school administrators, is chatting with colleagues during work hours. There is a significant negative relationship between the physical and psychological withdrawal behaviors and the work-oriented sub-dimensions, which are dedication to work and commitment to duty. While there is a low level of significant positive relationship between the physical withdrawal behaviors and the delight-oriented dimension of attributing success to external factors, there is a low level of significant positive relationship between psychological withdrawal behaviors and the delight-oriented sub-dimensions of attributing success to external factors and utilitarianism.
Results and Recommendations: A decrease in teachers’ ethical values such as dedication to work and commitment to duty leads to an increase in physical and psychological withdrawal behaviors. Therefore, to decrease the teachers’ physical and psychological withdrawal behaviors, it must be ensured that they adopt puritan ethical values, including dedication to work and commitment to duty. With this in mind, in order for teachers to care more for their profession and fulfill their duties with care, school administrators must ensure that teachers feel trusted and valued, and must pay attention to allow them to take more initiative in school activities.
Keywords.Physical withdrawal, psychological withdrawal, work ethics, job satisfaction, motivation, teachers.