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Perceptions and Responses of Selected Administrators to Language Policy Change at a Turkish University

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Within the context of globalization, it is important to understand whether participative decision-making style is a concept culturally cultivated and fostered by leaders and thus applicable in particular countries. With this in mind, the study on which this article is based examines the experiences and perceptions of eleven School of English Language Preparation administrators at a Turkish university regarding the leadership style and the decision-making process involved in the change of a particular institutional policy. This change was in language policy from the use of Turkish as the sole medium of instruction to instruction partially in English, meaning a certain number of the total undergraduate credits were to be fulfilled in English. Findings from the study indicate that the decision-making was from above, a factor that contributed to significant problems in the implementation of this policy. Further, participants expressed substantial dissatisfaction with the existing language policy and found its implementation process in their program troublesome. The findings from this exploratory study provide instructive lessons regarding the relevance of decision-making models borrowed from Western contexts in developing countries. They highlight the need for academic leaders in developing countries (Turkey in this context) to explore more inclusive decision-making processes.
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Keywords: Turkey; academics; decision-making style; language policy; policy reforms

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bogazici University

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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