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

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KILIÇOĞLU G., KILIÇOĞLU D., Hammersley-Fletcher L.

EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION & LEADERSHIP, vol.48, no.4, pp.745-761, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/1741143218822778
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Page Numbers: pp.745-761
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Schools in Turkey are primarily influenced by the Ministry of National Education (Milli Egitim Bakanligi) 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 Eskisehir 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.