Volume 11 Issue 1 (2022)

The Influence of Educational Employees’ Policy Alienation on Their Change Cynicism: An Investigation in the Turkish Public-Schooling Context

pp. 40-64  |  Published Online: March 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2022.111.4

Tijen Tulubas

Abstract

Background/purpose – Policy alienation is considered to be significant for successful policy implementation and is linked to public professionals’ attitudes towards change. The current study was conducted to investigate the influence of educational employees’, namely teachers’ and school administrators’, policy alienation on their change cynicism in the context of Turkish public-schools.

Materials/methods – The sample of this quantitative, causal-comparative study comprises of 504 teachers, principals, and vice-principals enrolled in educational master’s programs of the Social Sciences Institute in a university during the summer semester of 2020-2021 academic year and the fall semester of the 2021-2022 academic year. Data were collected using two Likert-type scales, the Policy Alienation Scale and the Cynicism about Organizational Change Scale, and then analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, and regression testing.

Results – The study revealed that the educational employees had a fairly high level of policy alienation and a low level of change cynicism, although teachers had higher levels of change cynicism over school administrators. Perceived strategic powerlessness of educational employees was the highest (x̄ = 3.37), and their tactical and operational powerlessness predicted their change cynicism the most, and explained the 26% and 28% of the total variance in change cynicism, respectively.

Conclusion – The findings indicate that educational employees should be involved in policy processes, and that change benefits should be justified with a powerful rationale so as to reduce policy alienation, as this helps to gain their behavioral support for changes and reduces failures. This is also significant as a history of failed change efforts triggers change cynicism.

Keywords: Policy alienation, change cynicism, educational employee, teacher, school administrator.

References

Abraham, R. (2000). Organizational cynicism: Bases and consequences. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 126(3), 269-292.

Akşit, N. (2007). Educational reform in Turkey. International Journal of Educational Development, 27(2), 129-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2006.07.011.

Altınyelken, K. K. (2013). Teachers’ principled resistance to curriculum change: A compelling case from Turkey. In A. Verger, H. K. Altınyelken & M. de Koning (Eds.), Global managerial education: Reforms and teachers emerging policies, controversies and issues in developing contexts (pp. 109-126). Education International Research Institute.

Anghelache, V., & Benţea, C. C. (2012). Educational changes and teachers’ attitude towards change. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 33, 593-597. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.01.190

Avcı, Y. E. (2021). Milli eğitim kararlarında sendikal etkiler: memnuniyet ve kaygılar. Elektronik Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 20(79), 1235-1247. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/esosder/issue/60801/861528

Barton, L. C., & Ambrosini, V. (2013). The moderating effect of organizational change cynicism on middle manager strategy commitment. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(4), 721-746. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2012.697481.

Blauner, R. (1964). Alienation and Freedom: The Factory worker and his industry. University of Chicago Press.

Börzel, T. A., & Van Hüllen, V. (2014). One voice, one message, but conflicting goals: Cohesiveness and consistency in the European neighbourhood policy. Journal of European Public Policy, 21, 1033-1049. https://doi.org/10.1080/13501763.2014.912147.

Bommer, W. H., Rich, G. A., & Rubin, R. S. (2005). Changing attitudes about change: Longitudinal effects of transformational leader behavior on employee cynicism about organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(7), 733-753. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.342.

Borrelli, L. M. (2018). Whisper down, up and between the lanes: Exclusionary policies and their limits of control in times of irregularized migration. Public Administration, 96(4), 803-816. https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12528.

Bouma, J. T. (2009). Why participation works: The role of employee involvement in the implementation of the customer relationship management type of organizational change [Doctoral dissertation, University of Groningen]. https://research.rug.nl/en/publications/why-participation-works-the-role-of-employee-involvement-in-the-i

Broner, C. K. (2003). Cynicism about organizational change: Disposition, or leadership’s creation? The reactions of K–12 educators undergoing systems change [Unpublished Doctoral dissertation]. Walden University.

Brown, M., & Cregan, C. (2008). Organizational change cynicism: The role of employee involvement. Human Resource Management, 47(4), 667-686. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20239.

Brown, M., Kulik, C. T., Cregan, C., & Metz, I. (2017). Understanding the change–cynicism cycle: the role of HR. Human Resource Management, 56(1), 5-24. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21708.

Bryson, J. M., Crosby, B. C., & Middleton Stone, M. (2015). Designing and implementing cross-sector collaborations: Needed and challenging. Public Administration Review, 75(5), 647-663. https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.12432

Büyüköztürk, Ş. (2007). Sosyal bilimler için veri analizi el kitabı [Data analysis handbook for social sciences] (7th ed.). Pegem Akademi.

Caner, H. A., & Bayhan, S. (2020). High-stakes examination policies and transformation of the Turkish education system. International Journal of Educational Development, 79, Article 102263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2020.102263.

Choi, M. (2011). Employees’ attitudes toward organizational change: A literature review. Human Resource Management, 50(4), 479-500. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20434.

Cole, M. S., Bruch, H., & Vogel, B. (2006). Emotion as mediators of the relations between perceived supervisor support and psychological hardiness on employee cynicism. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(4), 463–484. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.381.

Connell, J., & Waring, P. (2002). The BOHICA syndrome: A symptom of cynicism towards change initiatives? The Journal of Strategic Change, 11(7), 347-356. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsc.610.

Çiçekçi, N. (2020). Tanzimat ve meşrutiyet dönemlerinden günümüze Türkiyede eğitim politikalarında değişim sorunsalı [From the period of Tanzimat and constitutionalism change problems in educational policies in Turkey] [Master’s thesis, Marmara University]. https://acikbilim.yok.gov.tr/handle/20.500.12812/306967

Dağli, A. (2007). Küreselleşme karşısında Türk eğitim sistemi [Turkish education system towards globalisation]. Dicle Üniversitesi Ziya Gökalp Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 9, 1-13. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/zgefd/issue/47960/606797

Dean, J. W., Brandes, P., & Dharwadkar, R. (1998). Organizational cynicism. Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 341–352. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1998.533230.

DeCelles, K. A., Tesluk, P. E., & Taxman, F. S. (2013). A field investigation of multilevel cynicism toward change. Organization Science, 24(1), 154-171. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1110.0735.

DeHart-Davis, L., & Pandey, S. (2005). Red tape and public employees: Does perceived rule dysfunction alienate managers? Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15(1), 133-148. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mui007.

Emery, Y., & Giauque, D. (2003). Emergence of Contradictory Injunctions in Swiss NPM Projects. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 16(6), 468-481. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550310492111.

Eraslan, L. (2012). Türkiye’de eğitim sendikacılığının tarihsel perspektifi ve günümüz eğitim sendikacılığının değerlendirilmesi [Historical perspective of educational unionism in Turkey and evaluation of contemporary educational unionism]. Muğla Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 28, 1-17. http://www.sobbiad.mu.edu.tr/index.php/asd/article/view/260

Ewalt, J. A. G., & Jennings, E. T. (2004). Administration, governance, and policy tools in welfare policy implementation. Public Administration Review, 64(4), 449-462. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2004.00391.x.

Fotaki, M, & Hyde, P. (2015). Organizational blind spots: Splitting, blame and idealization in the National Health Service. Human Relations, 68(3), 441-462. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726714530012.

Freidson, E. (2001). Professionalism: The Third Logic. Cambridge University Press.

Fullan, M. (2015). The NEW meaning of educational change. Teachers College Press.

Gedikoğlu, T. (2005). Avrupa birliği sürecinde Türk eğitim sistemi: Sorunlar ve çözüm önerileri [Turkish education system during European Union process: Problems and possible solutions]. Mersin Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 1(1), 66-80. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/download/article-file/161025

Gofen, A. (2014). Mind the gap: Dimensions and influence of street-level divergence. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 24(2), 473-493. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mut037.

Hess, F. (2013). The Missing Half of School Reform, National Affairs, 2013. http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-missing-half-of-school-reform

Higgs, M., & Rowland, D. (2005). All changes great and small: Exploring approaches to change and its leadership. Journal of Change Management, 5(2), 121-151. https://doi.org/10.1080/14697010500082902.

Hudson, B., Hunter, D., & Peckham, S. (2019). Policy failure and the policy-implementation gap: Can policy support programs help? Policy Design and Practice, 2(1), 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1080/25741292.2018.1540378.

Hupe, P. L., & Hill, M. J. (2007). Street-level bureaucracy and public accountability. Public Administration, 85, 279-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9299.2007.00650.x.

Huy, Q. N. (2001). Time, temporal capability, and planned change. Academy of Management Review, 26(4), 601-623. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2001.5393897.

Judson, A. S. (1991). Changing behavior in organizations: Minimizing resistance to change. Blackwell.

Kanungo, R. N. (1982). Work Alienation: An Integrative Approach. Praeger.

Kara, M. (2016). Öğretmenlerin sendikalara üye olmama nedenleri ve sendikalardan beklentileri [the reasons why teachers do not affiliate to unions and their expectations from them]. Akademik Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi, 4(22), 423-440. http://dx.doi.org/10.16992/ASOS.1036

Karaman, H. G., & Erdoğan, Ç. (2016). Türkiye’deki eğitim sendikalarına yönelik bir inceleme: Amaçlar, beklentiler ve sorunlar [An Investigation of the Education Unions in Turkey: Goals, Expectations and Problems]. Sakarya University Journal of Education, 6(2), 123-140. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/pub/suje/issue/24692/261101

Keiser, L. R. (2010). Understanding street-level bureaucrats’ decision making: Determining eligibility in the social security disability program. Public Administration Review 70(2), 247-257. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02131.x.

Kerpershoek, E., Groenleer, M., & De Bruijn, H. (2016). Unintended responses to performance management in Dutch hospital care: Bringing together the managerial and professional perspectives. Public Management Review, 18(3), 4-26. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2014.985248.

Kickert, W. J. M. (2010). Managing emergent and complex change: The case of Dutch agencification. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 76(3), 489-515. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852310373172.

Köybaşı, F., Uğurlu, C. T., & Arslan, C. (2016). Öğretmenlerin sendikal örgütlenmeye ilişkin görüşleri [Teachers’ opinion about unionization]. Uşak Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi, 9(27/3), 101-123. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/usaksosbil/issue/24734/261542

Küçüker, E. (2010, November, 11-13). Türkiye’de eğitim planlaması neyi hedefliyor [What does educational planning in Turkey aim at?]. [Conference presentation, International Conference on New Trends in Education and Their Implications, Antalya, Turkey].

Lavee, E., Cohen, N., & Nouman, H. (2018). Reinforcing public responsibility? Influences and practices in SLBs’ engagement in policy design. Public Administration, 96(2), 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12402.

Lilja, E. (2020). Threat of policy alienation: Exploring the implementation of Open Science policy in research practice. Science and Public Policy, 47(6), 803-817. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/scaa044.

Lipsky, M. (2010). Street-level bureaucracy: dilemmas of the individual in public services. Russell Sage Foundation.

Mathews, J. (2009). Models of change management: A reanalysis. IUP Journal of Business Strategy, 6, 7-17. https://www.iupindia.in/609/IJBS_Models_Change_Management_7.html

May, P. J., & Winter, S. C. (2009). Politicians, managers, and street-level bureaucrats: Influences on policy implementation. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 19(3), 453-467. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mum030.

Millî Eğitim Bakanlığı. (2021). Milli eğitim istatistikleri: Örgün eğitim [National education statistics: Formal education]. Ankara, Turkey.

Nishii, L. H., Lepak, D. P., & Schneider, B. (2008). Employee attributions of the “why” of HR practices: Their effects on employee attitudes and behaviors, and customer satisfaction. Personnel Psychology, 61(3), 503-545. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.2008.00121.x.

Nohl, A. M., Akkoyunlu-Wigley, A., & Wigley, S. (Eds.). (2008). Education in Turkey. Waxmann Verlag.

OECD. (2015). Education policy outlook 2015: Making reforms happen. OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264225442-en.

Piderit, S. K. (2000). Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: A multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change. Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 783-794. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2000.3707722.

Pont, B. (2008). Making reform happen: Project framework and plans. OECD Publishing.

Qian, Y., & Daniels, T. D. (2008). A communication model of employee cynicism toward organizational change. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 13(3), 319-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280810893689.

Reichers, A. E., Wanous, J. P., & Austin, J. T. (1997). Understanding and managing cynicism about organizational change. Academy of Management Executive, 11(1), 48-59. https://doi.org/10.5465/ame.1997.9707100659.

Sagie, A., & Koslowsky, M. (1994). Organizational attitudes and behaviors as a function of participation in strategic and tactical change decisions: An application of path-goal theory. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15(1), 37-47. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.4030150105.

Salancik, G. R., & Pfeffer, J. (1978). A social information processing approach to job attitudes and task design. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23(2), 224-253. https://doi.org/10.2307/2392563.

Schenker, J. D., & Rumrill, P. D., Jr. (2004). Causal-comparative research designs. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 21(3), 117-121. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-vocational-rehabilitation/jvr00260.

Soydan, T., & Abali, H. G. (2014). Changes in the Field of Finance of Education in Turkey within the Context of Neoliberal Policies. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies (JCEPS), 12(1), 26-47. http://www.jceps.com/archives/476.

Stanley, D. J., Meyer, J. P., & Topolnytsky, L. (2005). Employee cynicism and resistance to organizational change. Journal of Business and Psychology, 19(4), 429-459. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-005-4518-2.

Taş, A., & Önder, E. (2010). 2004 yılı ve sonrasında yayınlanan eğitim kurumları yöneticilerinin atama ve yer değiştirmelerine ilişkin yönetmeliklerin karşılaştırması [A comparison the regulations on the assignment and relocation of administrators of educational institutions functioning in 2004 and the years later]. Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 12, 171-185. https://dergipark.org.tr/en/pub/sbe/issue/23190/247702.

Taşdan, M. (2013). Eğitim işkolundaki sendikalara ilişkin öğretmen görüşleri: Nitel bir araştırma [Perceptions of teachers about educational unions: A qualitative study]. Erzincan Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 15(1), 231-265.https://app.trdizin.gov.tr/makale/TWpJeE56ZzJOZz09

Thomann, E., van Engen, N., & Tummers, L. (2018). The necessity of discretion: A behavioral evaluation of bottom-up implementation theory. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 28(4), 583-601. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muy024.

Tolay, E., Sürgevil Dalkiliç, O., & Boran Sezgin, O. (2017). Örgütsel değişim sinizmi: Ölçek geliştirme, güvenilirlik ve geçerlilik çalışması [Organizational change cynicism: scale development, validity and reliability]. Atatürk Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Dergisi, 31(1), 101-117. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/pub/atauniiibd/issue/45085/563122

Tonkens, E., Bröer, C., van Sambeek, N., & van Hassel, D. (2013). Pretenders and performers: Professional responses to the commodification of health care. Social Theory & Health, 11(4), 368-387. https://doi.org/10.1057/sth.2013.5.

Tucker, D. A., Hendy, J., & Chrysanthaki, T. (2021). How does policy alienation develop? Exploring street-level bureaucrats’ agency in policy context shift in UK telehealthcare. Human Relations. https://doi.org/10.1177/00187267211003633.

Tummers, L. (2011). Explaining the willingness of public professionals to implement new policies: A policy alienation framework. International Review of Administrative Sciences77(3), 555-581. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852311407364.

Tummers, L. (2012). Policy alienation of public professionals: The construct and its measurement. Public Administration Review, 72(4), 516-525. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2011.02550.x.

Tummers, L. G. (2017). Bureaucracy and Policy Alienation. In A. Farazmand (Ed.), Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance (3rd ed., pp. 1-8). Springer Nature

Tummers, L. G., Bekkers, V. J. J. M., & Steijn, A. J. (2009). Policy alienation of public professionals: Application in a New Public Management context. Public Management Review, 11(5), 685-706. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719030902798230.

Tummers, L., Bekkers, V., & Steijn, B. (2012). Policy alienation of public professionals: A comparative case study of insurance physicians and secondary school teachers. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(4), 259-271. https://doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2012.651413.

Tummers, L., Bekkers, V., van Thiel, S., & Steijn, B. (2015). The effects of work alienation and policy alienation on behavior of public employees. Administration & Society, 47(5), 596-617. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399714555748.

Tummers, L. G, Steijn, A. J, & Bekkers, V. J. J. M. (2011). Explaining job satisfaction of public professionals: Policy alienation and politicking in organizations. Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences. http://hdl.handle.net/1765/22897.

Tummers, L., Thiel, S. V., Steijn, B., & Bekkers, V. J. J. M. (2011). Policy alienation and work alienation: Two worlds apart? [Conference presentation. 2011 NIG Conference, Rotterdam, Netherlands]. https://repub.eur.nl/pub/31195/

Tülübaş, T., & Göktürk, Ş. (2021). Örgütsel değişim sinizmi ölçeği: Türkçeye uyarlanması, geçerlik ve güvenirlik analizi [Cynicism about organisational change scale: Turkish adaptation, validity and reliability analysis]. e-Kafkas Journal of Educational Research, 8(3), 574-591. https://doi.org/10.30900/kafkasegt.958388

Umstead, L. K., & Mayton, H. (2018). Using Correlational and Causal-Comparative Research Designs in Practice: Exploring Relations Among Client Variables. In L. K. Umstead & H. Mayton (Eds.), Making Research Relevant (pp. 95-108). Routledge.

Usman, M., Ali, M., Mughal, F., & Agyemang-Mintah, P. (2021). Policy alienation and street-level bureaucrats’ psychological wellbeing: The mediating role of alienative commitment. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 31(2), 278-294. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/muaa043.

Van der Voet, J., Steijn, B., & Kuipers, B. S. (2017). What’s in it for others? The relationship between prosocial motivation and commitment to change among youth care professionals. Public Management Review, 19(4), 443-462. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2016.1183699.

Van Engen, N., Steijn, B., & Tummers, L. (2019). Do consistent government policies lead to greater meaningfulness and legitimacy on the front line? Public Administration97(1), 97-115. https://doi.org/10.1111/padm.12570.

Van Engen, N., Tummers, L., Bekkers, V., & Steijn, B. (2016). Bringing history in: Policy accumulation and general policy alienation. Public Management Review, 18(7), 1085-1106. https://doi.org/10.1080/14719037.2015.1088568.

Viennet, R., & Pont, B. (2017). Education Policy Implementation: A Literature Review and Proposed Framework. OECD Education Working Papers, No. 162. OECD Publishing.

Wanberg, C. R., & Banas, J. T. (2000). Predictors and outcomes of openness to changes in a reorganizing workplace. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(1), 132-142. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.85.1.132.

Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Austin, J. T. (2000). Cynicism about organizational change: Measurement, antecedents, and correlates. Group & Organization Management25(2), 132-153. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601100252003.

Wanous, J. P., Reichers, A. E., & Austin, J. T. (2004). Cynicism about organizational change: An attribution process perspective. Psychological Reports, 94(3), 1421-1434. https://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.94.3c.1421-1434.

Watt, J. D., & Piotrowski, C. (2008). Organizational change cynicism: A review of the literature and intervention strategies. Organization Development Journal, 26(3), 23-3

Yasan, T. (2012). İlköğretim okulu yöneticilerinin ve öğretmenlerinin sendikalara ilişkin görüşlerinin farklı değişkenlere göre incelenmesi: Malatya il merkezi örneği [An evaluation of primary school administrators and teachers' opinions about in educations to according various variables: Case of Malatya city]. Ondokuz Mayıs Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 31(1), 271-293. https://app.trdizin.gov.tr/publication/paper/detail/TVRNMk56UTVPUT09

Announcement

EDUPIJ News!

EDUPIJ Statistics from Scopus

CiteScore: 1.4, view Scopus page

► Educational Process: International Journal is member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)

► New issue coming soon! (Volume 11 Issue 3, 2022)