Understanding “How Religion Matters” at the Organizational Level through Examples in the Scope of Turkish Educational Field

Oktay Koç


The effects of some institutional sectors (such as religion or family etc. with neo-institutional scholars’ saying) on organizations are not completely analyzed by scholars working on organization theory. In fact, religion, as an institutional sector, is expected perhaps strongly to pressure on organizations to assure their compliance with its institutional arrangements. Depending on this, scholars call for studies focusing on to analyze the effects of religion on organizations particularly at meso (organizational) level. To respond this calls, this study aims to explore likely effects of religion on organizations in Turkey’s setting which is mostly portrayed as a Muslim country although its constitution defines it as laicistic in principle. In the end, through two different cases from Turkish educational field, it is determined that organizations are likely exposed to some effects stemming from religion from some aspects and depending on this, there are at first sight some differences between organizations in terms of their goals. Hence, it can be concluded that organizational religious-orientedness can make organizations different from each other. Furthermore religiosity may cause differences in some aspects or characteristics of organizations such as organizational member structure, socio-cultural effects, adjunct implementations and organizations, functional content, relationships with members, cooperation with relative organizations. Additionally some characteristics of the organizations (such as normative order, fiscal structure and formal ties with various organizations) may partly differentiate from other organizations by depending organizational religious-orientedness.

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