Teachers’ Psychological Contract Perceptions and Person-Environment Fit Levels*

† Asst. Prof. Dr. Ankara University, Faculty of Educational Sciences, 06590, Ankara, Turkey.


Problem Statement: Modern management approaches attach great importance to both the informal and the economic aspects of the organizations. Identifying teachers’ psychological contract types and fit levels of a work environment in terms of variables such as seniority, educational degree, and school type will lead to discovery of the motivational factors of the employment relationship in school organizations.

Purpose of Study: This research was aimed at determining the psychological contract perceptions and person-environment fit levels of public and private elementary school teachers.

Methodology: This study was designed with single and correlational survey models. Public school teachers were represented by 375 participants, and private school teachers were represented by 201 participants in the sampling. While determining teachers’ psychological contract perceptions, the “Psychological Contract Inventory” developed by Rousseau (2000) was adapted to Turkish teachers. Teachers’ “Person-Environment Fit” scale was developed by the researcher.

Findings and Results: The most dominant psychological contract type was the relational contract, followed by balanced, transitional, and transactional contracts. The highest level of person-environment fit was teacher-job fit, followed by teacher-group fit, teacher-supervisor fit, and teacher-school fit. Both public and private school teachers were fitted with their “jobs” mostly. Teachers thought that they fit with their work environment highly in terms of its components.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Teachers had dominantly developed a relational psychological contract. School type, seniority, and educational degree were variables that made significant differences in transactional and relational contracts. Private school teachers’ scores were higher than the public school teachers in regard to relational contract type. Balanced contract perception was the highest type after the relational contracts. Private school teachers’ fit levels with “their jobs” are higher than public school teachers’, and they were also more positive than the public school teachers in balanced type. It was concluded that public and private school teachers in Ankara province developed a positive psychological contract and high level of person-environment fit. Public school teachers with associate degrees had higher levels of school fit than those with undergraduate and graduate degrees. In general, as the seniority increases, teacher-school fit increases as well. If shared expectancies will be negotiated between teachers and administrators, positive psychological contracts will be more common. A well-designed orientation process for new coming teachers will make the compliance process easier.

Keywords: Psychological Contract, Person-environment Fit, Public, Private School Teachers.