Coping With school violence through the lens of teachers' role breadth: The impact of participative management and job autonomy

Anit Somech, Izhar Oplatka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current literature's call for a more ecological approach to violence theory, research, and practice stimulated the current study. This model postulates that teachers' willingness to engage in behaviors intended to tackle violence in school as part of their in-role duties (role breadth) will affect school violence. Specifically, the model examined the mediating role of teachers' role breadth in the relationship of the organizational-level factors of participative management and job autonomy with school violence. Method: Data were collected from a survey of 1,512 teachers and their principals at 119 elementary schools in the northern and central parts of Israel. Findings: The structural equation model confirmed the main hypotheses and indicated that for both job autonomy and participative management only the indirect paths (job autonomy-role breadth- school violence; participative management-role breadth-school violence) were significant. These results indicated that role breadth fully mediated the relationship between participative management and job autonomy and school violence. Conclusions: These results carry important practical implications for administrators to help schools cope with the phenomenon of violence. Understanding why teachers choose to broaden their role is important in decreasing school violence. Schools that encourage staff members to see themselves as part of the picture in all aspects of school functioning by involving them in the decision making process, and by providing them with opportunities for discretion, will benefit teachers who believe that student safety is possible and are willing to tackle the phenomenon of violence in schools as part of their in-role duties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-449
Number of pages26
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Job autonomy
  • Participative management
  • Role breadth
  • School violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


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