Organizational Culture Type in Turkish Universities using OCAI: Perceptions of Students

Keywords: Organisational culture type, Turkish universities, OCAI, students’ perceptions, mixed method, hierarchy culture.


Aim. The aim of this research is to identify student perceptions of the current organizational culture type in four flagship Turkish public universities. Its further goal after this diagnosis was to help the researchers and policy makers to deeply understand the actual situations and make recommendations for organizational culture change and educational innovations.

Methods. We applied a mixed-method approach to collect data. The quantitative method consisted of 964 applications of the instrument of OCAI to bachelor students. The qualitative method included 19 semi-structured interviews to follow up and verify the results from the survey to have a deeper insight into Turkish HEIs.

Results. The variety of findings through survey and interviews revealed and validated that the dominant culture type of Turkish universities regarding students is hierarchy followed by market culture. It is probable that the national cultural structure of the Turkish society is a result of this finding. It appears that Turkey has a hierarchical workplace attributing control, order, authority, and smooth functioning.

Conclusions. Based on student perceptions, this study can provide policy makers, academic leaders, academic staff and employees in administrative units with a broader knowledge of the current organizational culture type in universities in Turkey, and identify the strengths and weaknesses of organizational culture in universities and to improve the quality through making innovations.

Author Biographies

Aysun Caliskan, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2 1050 Brussel, Belgium

She is a PhD candidate in educational sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has experience in education for more than 15 years as a teacher and a coordinator in Turkey and Belgium. Her strongest interests lie in organizational culture, academic leadership, higher education, quality assurance, educational administration and evaluation in education, educational innovations in e-learning, CSCL and student-centred learning.

Chang Zhu, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2 1050 Brussel, Belgium

She is a professor in Educational Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) since 2010. She is the promoter and principal investigator of several key fundamental research projects in the field of higher education, internationalization, university governance, academic leadership, international academic mobility, student competence and literacy development, educational innovation, online and blended learning, MOOC, ICT-supported learning and social inclusion. Her research mainly focuses on organizational culture, innovations in higher education, higher education governance and academic leadership; the implementation of educational innovations in schools and higher education and the examination of cultural, contextual and individual variables that are related to the implementation of educational innovations.


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How to Cite
Caliskan, A., & Zhu, C. (2019). Organizational Culture Type in Turkish Universities using OCAI: Perceptions of Students. Journal of Education Culture and Society, 10(2), 270-292.