Principals’ ordeal with bureaucracy

Mikail Yalçın, Ahmet Aypay, Adnan Boyacı

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to reveal how school principals position themselves against bureaucracy and investigate their conceptions of bureaucracy in public education system. Phenomenological approach was used to analyze the qualitative data. Participants were 19 primary, middle and high school principals from 11 provinces of Turkey. The quantitative data was collected from 445 principals and were used in the level 2 (26 sub-regions) based on TURKSTAT regional classifica-tion. At least one province of each of these sub-regions was selected. Findings indicate that principals conceive bureaucracy based on dysfunctional aspects of Weberian bureaucracy. Principals interpret bureaucracy as “an instrument of domination, disrupts relations between individuals and institutions, a red-tape, slows down the process, the routine of the public and prevents communi-cation.” Bureaucratic roles of public bureaucrats were also emphasized in the study. Findings sug-gest that bureaucratic roles and street-level bureaucracy should be taken into account in principal selection and training processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-260
Number of pages58
JournalEducational Administration: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Bureaucratic roles
  • School principal
  • Street-level bureaucracy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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