Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to compare teachers' organisational behaviour in publicly- and privately-funded schools in the Dutch Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. Design/methodology/approach: A percentage of all middle managers in publicly and privately funded schools (72 per cent and 43 per cent respectively) distributed self-report questionnaires to their teachers measuring teachers' attitudes, sense of identification and perception of the school climate. The sample consisted of 705 teachers in publicly funded schools and 25 teachers in privately funded schools. Data were analysed through multilevel analysis accounting for the dependency of teachers working within the same teaching unit. Findings: The analyses show that teachers in publicly funded schools report a less curriculum-oriented attitude, a lower sense of identification, and perceive a less supportive school climate than teachers in privately funded schools. Funding did not have an effect on the extent to which teachers have a student-oriented attitude. In addition, the analyses show significant effects of teacher characteristics, the disciplinary sector, and affiliation characteristics on teachers' organisational behaviour. Research limitations/implications: The paper clearly indicates differences in teachers' organisational behaviour in publicly and privately funded schools. Contrary to common beliefs, the institutional context hardly influences the extent to which teachers have a student-oriented attitude. Originality/value: The paper contributes to insights in behavioural aspects of the fading boundary between the public and private sector. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
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