Study measures

Two questionnaires, one for teachers and the other for principals, were used in the present smdy (Appendix 3.2). Psychometric characteristics of all study variables as well as their number in the questionnaire appear in Appendix 3.3. Both questionnaires included the following scales and measures: external accountability disposition (two versions - general and audience focused), internal accountability disposition, individualism, collectivism, organizational support, and background characteristics.2

All multiple-item scales were validated in previous research (see later) and checked for reliability in the first stages of the present study. In an effort to ensure that respondents in the different countries were as close as possible to a shared understanding of the main study concepts, the research team spent considerable time in discussing the meaning of accountability and the other key research variables. The questionnaires were originally prepared in Hebrew and then translated into English and from English into the other four study languages: Chinese. Dutch, Hungarian, and Spanish. Translation was performed in a back-and-forth fashion (cf. Davis et al., 2013) and discussions among researchers were carried out in English.

External and internal accountability

A detailed description of the construction and development of the external and internal accountability scales used in this study can be found in Rosenblatt (2017). The scales were tailored for school context and were slightly modified to be used by both teachers and principals. Its external dimension was modeled to apply to two different audiences: school management and parents.

The 13-item External Accountability scale intended to measure the tendency to report to external audiences such as the principal, parents, or school management generally (in the case of teachers) and school boards (in the case of principals). The scale included items reflecting key accountability elements (Frink & Ferris, 1998), such as goal setting, performance report, transparency, performance evaluation, and feedback. Scale reliability (Cronbach's a) was .86 for teachers and .84 for principals. A sample item was: In your work as a teacher, to what extent do you feel that it is your responsibility to be held accountable when your work in the classroom does not meet expectations?

A short version (seven items) of external accountability was used to assess external accountability to each of two audiences: parents and school management. These audiences were selected because they seemed to be universally the most legitimate stakeholders in teachers' and principals’ work environment. The selection of seven items from the original 13-item measure was based on the items' relevancy to the two audiences. Scale reliability (Cronbach's a) in the present study for accountability toward parents and school management was .86 and .87 for teachers and .87 and .90 for principals, respectively.

The seven-item Internal Accountability scale intended to measure teachers' and principals' tendency to report to themselves, based on their professional code and work ethics (Firestone & Shipps, 2005). Scale reliability (Cronbach’s a) was .82 for teachers and .83 for principals. A sample item was: In your work (as a teacher), to what extent do you feel that it is your responsibility to be accountable for your teaching in the best possible way?

 
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