This study aims to reveal teachers’ views on the institutionalization of ethical and unethical behaviors in school settings. This is a phenomenological study, one of the qualitative research designs. Purposeful sampling method was used in this study. The study group consisted of 20 teachers working in schools in Istanbul. A semi-structured interview form was developed to collect data. A content analysis was conducted to analyze the contents of the interviews. Based on the findings, it can be said that there are no systematic efforts to institutionalize ethics in schools. One of the most significant results of this study was that there was a tendency to respond negatively or to not respond to ethical behaviors in schools, while there was no institutional response to unethical behaviors. Unethicality, rather than ethicality, might be expected to institutionalize in schools where teachers have difficulties for their ethical behaviors, but do not have any problems for their unethical behaviors. In such conditions, teachers predominantly make individual efforts to act ethically since they are mostly devoid of the support of a strong institutional environment encouraging ethical behaviors. Furthermore, according to the participants, there was no ethical consensus on what should be done on facing unethical behaviors. The results of this study indicated that there could be a tendency towards the institutionalization of unethicality rather than ethicality in schools. A formal structure, such as an ethical committee, which can control the application of ethical principles and codes and evaluate change requirements in this process, is required to hinder the institutionalization of unethicality in schools. Besides, there are also certain strategies that administrators and teachers can use to reverse this tendency.
institutionalization of the ethics, explicit institutionalization, implicit institutionalization, ethical consensus, unethicality