An analysis of the diffusion of structures and practices in a high-level bureaucratic organization in Turkey by using "new institutional theory"

Sert, Semih
This study analyzes the process of the diffusion of structures and practices in an organizational setting using the theory of new institutionalism as the theoretical basis. The explanation of the diffusion process has been subject to major variations due to epistemological and ontological reasons. Former theories of organizational reality looked at organizations as their sole units of analyses and accounted for the diffusion process accordingly; however, today, it is widely observed and accepted that organizational behavior is shaped by historical and environmental factors. This investigation aims to provide evidence for how certain structures and practices diffuse through organizational settings while others do not. Consequently, a qualitative design was conducted to explore the diffusion process in the case of the Council of Higher Education, a high-level bureaucratic organization in Turkey. Fifteen key informants, present or former university rectors and members of the Council, were interviewed and the accumulated data were analyzed qualitatively. Also, the findings were matched and supported with relevant documents analyzed additionally. The findings drawn from the investigation indicate that the emergence of the Council implicates a pattern visible throughout the history of Turkish higher education. The Council is spotted as an important agent in redefining Turkish higher education and thus creating a new organizational field for it. Yet, highly dynamic and interactive face of today’s higher education calls for reconsideration of the Council and its functions. A major conclusion that can be reached in this context is that the issue of legitimacy depends on the satisfaction of several demands and expectations at various levels. Therefore, even a formal and regulative organization, such as the Council of Higher Education is prone to the pressures of the organizational field it operates within and is called upon to redefine its structures and implementations accordingly in order to secure its legitimacy.


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Citation Formats
S. Sert, “An analysis of the diffusion of structures and practices in a high-level bureaucratic organization in Turkey by using “new institutional theory”,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2008.