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Leading Turkish schools: A study of the causes and consequences of organisational hypocrisy

Kılıçoğlu, Gökhan and Kılıçoğlu, Derya Yılmaz and Hammersley-Fletcher, Linda (2019) Leading Turkish schools: A study of the causes and consequences of organisational hypocrisy. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. ISSN 1741-1432

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Abstract

Schools in Turkey are primarily influenced by the Ministry of National Education (Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı) through laws and regulations. Compliance with regulations might be characterised as superficial in many respects and can lead to schools ‘decoupling’ their espoused structures from the realities of practice. In other words, they might have policies to indicate compliance whilst at the same time practising in ways that are not coherent with these stated aims and ‘ideals’. Consequently, there can be incongruence between the apparent conformity and the reality of daily activities referred to by Brunsson as ‘organizational hypocrisy’. There are serious dangers with not recognising issues around proclaimed values and accepted expectations which may have pathological consequences for organisations. This article draws on semi-structured interviews with 21 staff including principals, vice principals and teachers from nine schools in the Eskişehir Provincial Directorate of National Education in Turkey to investigate the conditions under which hypocrisy is more likely to happen and what the consequences of it may be. We provide school staff with important insights on how to decrease hypocrisy in their schools and increase the authenticity of school approaches in a complex, educational environment.

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