Year 2020, Volume 7 , Issue 2, Pages 80 - 101 2020-08-01

The Institutionalization of Ethics in Schools: A Qualitative Research on Teachers

Mehmet Hilmi KOÇ [1] , Tuncer FİDAN [2]

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
  • Acar, A.G. (2000). Etik değerlerin kurumsallaştırılması üzerine bir araştırma (Yayınlanmamış yüksek lisans tezi). İstanbul Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul.
  • Adams, J. S., Tashchian, A., & Shore, T. H. (2001). Codes of ethics as signals for ethical behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 29(3), 199-211.
  • Amundsen, I., & Pinto, V. (2009). Public sector ethics. Compendium for teaching at the Catholic University of Angola (UCAN), Luanda: The Catholic University of Angola.
  • Arastaman, G., Fidan, İ. Ö., & Fidan, T. (2018). Nitel Araştırmada Geçerlik ve Güvenirlik: Kuramsal Bir İnceleme. YYÜ Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi (YYU Journal of Education Faculty), 15(1), 37-75.
  • Aydın Pehlivan, İ. (2012). Yönetsel mesleki ve örgütsel etik. PEGEM, Ankara.
  • Bakioğlu, A., & Koç, M.H. (2017). Lise öğretmenlerinin mesleki değerlere ilişkin görüşlerinin çeşitli değişkenler açısından incelenmesi. Nitel Araştırmalar Dergisi, 5(3), 270-296.
  • Babbie, E. R. (2006). The practice of social research. Belmont: Wadsworth.
  • Balcı, A. (2013). Sosyal bilimlerde araştırma: Yöntem, teknik ve ilkeler (Genişletilmiş 10. Baskı). Ankara: PegemAkademi. Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(3), 193-209.
  • Blasi, A. (1999). Emotions and moral motivation. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 29(1), 1-19.
  • Booth, P., & Schulz, A. K. D. (2004). The impact of an ethical environment on managers' project evaluation judgments under agency problem conditions. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 29(5-6), 473-488.
  • Brown, M. E., & Treviño, L. K. (2006). Ethical leadership: A review and future directions. The Leadership Quarterly, 17(6), 595-616.
  • Chiu, R. K. (2003). Ethical judgment and whistle blowing intention: Examining the moderating role of locus of control. Journal of Business Ethics, 43(1-2), 65-74.
  • Cook, A., & Glass, C. (2014). Above the glass ceiling: When are women and racial/ethnic minorities promoted to CEO? Strategic Management Journal, 35(7), 1080-1089.
  • Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Thousands Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Demmke, C. and Moilanen, T. (2011). Effectiveness of good governance and ethics in central administration: evaluating reform outcomes in the context of the financial crisis. Luxembourg: European Institute of Public Administration.
  • Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Detert, J. R., Treviño, L. K., & Sweitzer, V. L. (2008). Moral disengagement in ethical decision making: a study of antecedents and outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(2), 374.
  • Eisenberg, N. (2000). Emotion, regulation, and moral development. Annual review of psychology, 51(1), 665-697.
  • Farnese, M. L., Tramontano, C., Fida, R., & Paciello, M. (2011). Cheating behaviors in academic context: Does academic moral disengagement matter?. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 29, 356-365.
  • Fritzsche, D. J. (2000). Ethical climates and the ethical dimension of decision making. Journal of Business Ethics, 24(2), 125-140. Gino, F., & Bazerman, M. H. (2009). When misconduct goes unnoticed: The acceptability of gradual erosion in others’ unethical behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(4), 708-719.
  • Guba, E. G. (1981). Criteria for assessing the trustworthiness of naturalistic inquiries. Educational Technology Research and Development, 29(2), 75-91.
  • Kahneman, D. (2003). Maps of bounded rationality: Psychology for behavioral economics. American Economic Review, 93(5), 1449-1475.
  • Kohlberg, L. 1969. Stage and sequence. The cognitive developmental approach to socialization. In D. A. Goslin (Ed.), Handbook of socialization theory (pp. 347-480). Chicago: Rand McNally.
  • Knafl, K. A., & Howard, M. J. (1984). Interpreting and reporting qualitative research. Research in Nursing & Health, 7(1), 17-24.
  • Koç, M.H. (2017). Lise öğretmenlerinin kişisel ve mesleki değerlere ilişkin görüşlerinin çeşitli değişkenler açısından incelenmesi. (Yayınlanmamış doktora tezi). İstanbul Sabahattin Zaim Üniversitesi, Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İstanbul.
  • Koonmee, K., Singhapakdi, A., Virakul, B., & Lee, D. J. (2010). Ethics institutionalization, quality of work life, and employee job-related outcomes: A survey of human resource managers in Thailand. Journal of Business Research, 63(1), 20-26.
  • Lee, D. J., Grace, B. Y., Sirgy, M. J., Singhapakdi, A., & Lucianetti, L. (2018). The effects of explicit and implicit ethics institutionalization on employee life satisfaction and happiness: The mediating effects of employee experiences in work life and moderating effects of work–family life conflict. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(4), 855-874.
  • Long, D. M., & Rao, S. (1995). The wealth effects of unethical business behavior. Journal of Economics and Finance, 19(2), 65-73.
  • Marta, J. K., Singhapakdi, A., Lee, D. J., Sirgy, M. J., Koonmee, K., & Virakul, B. (2013). Perceptions about ethics institutionalization and quality of work life: Thai versus American marketing managers. Journal of Business Research, 66(3), 381-389.
  • Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). An expanded sourcebook: Qualitative data analysis (Second edition). Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage Publications
  • Morse, J. M. (1991). Strategies for sampling. In: J. M. Morse (Ed.). Qualitative Nursing Research: A Contemporary Dialogue, (pp. 127-145). London: Sage Publications.
  • Schnebel, E., & Bienert, M. A. (2004). Implementing ethics in business organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1-2), 203-211.
  • Shenton, A. K. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22(2), 63-75.
  • Sims, R. R. (2003). Ethics and corporate responsibility: Why giants fall. Westport: Greenwood Publishing.
  • Singhapakdi, A., & Vitell, S. J. (2007). Institutionalization of ethics and its consequences: a survey of marketing professionals. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 35(2), 284-294.
  • Thau, S., Derfler-Rozin, R., Pitesa, M., Mitchell, M. S., & Pillutla, M. M. (2015). Unethical for the sake of the group: Risk of social exclusion and pro-group unethical behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(1), 98-113.
  • Trevino, L. K. (1986). Ethical decision making in organizations: A person-situation interactionist model. Academy of Management Review, 11(3), 601-617.
  • Treviño, L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2003). Managing ethics in business organizations: Social scientific perspective. Redwood City, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Treviño, L. K., Weaver, G. R., Gibson, D. G., & Toffler, B. L. (1999). Managing ethics and legal compliance: What works and what hurts. California management review, 41(2), 131-151.
  • Treviño, L. K., Weaver, G. R., & Reynolds, S. J. (2006). Behavioral ethics in organizations: A review. Journal of Management, 32(6), 951-990. Tufford, L., & Newman, P. (2012). Bracketing in qualitative research. Qualitative Social Work, 11(1), 80-96.
  • Van Gils, S., & Venus, M. (2017). The burden of ethics: Moral identity determines how ethical leadership relates to employee stress. In Güçlü Atınç (Ed.), Academy of management proceedings (Vol. 2017, No. 1) (p. 13934). Briarcliff Manor, NY: Academy of Management.
  • Vitell, S. J., & Singhapakdi, A. (2008). The role of ethics institutionalization in influencing organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and esprit de corps. Journal of Business Ethics, 81(2), 343-353.
  • Yıldırım, A., & Şimşek, H. (2011). Sosyal bilimlerde nitel araştırma yöntemleri. Ankara: Seçkin Yayıncılık.
Primary Language en
Subjects Education, Scientific Disciplines
Journal Section Research Articles

Orcid: 0000-0001-6259-173X
Author: Mehmet Hilmi KOÇ (Primary Author)
Country: Turkey

Orcid: 0000-0002-9954-1004
Author: Tuncer FİDAN
Country: Turkey


Publication Date : August 1, 2020

APA Koç, M , Fidan, T . (2020). The Institutionalization of Ethics in Schools: A Qualitative Research on Teachers . Participatory Educational Research , 7 (2) , 80-101 . DOI: 10.17275/per.