Communication in an academic context

Gizir S., Simsek H.

HIGHER EDUCATION, vol.50, no.2, pp.197-221, 2005 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10734-004-6349-x
  • Journal Name: HIGHER EDUCATION
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.197-221
  • Keywords: academic context, academic culture, disciplinary culture, faculty members, organizational communication, university departments, HIGHER-EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY, SYSTEMS, ORGANIZATIONS, PERFORMANCE, DEFINITION, DEMOGRAPHY, BEHAVIOR, CULTURES
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: No


The purpose of this qualitative case study is to investigate the most common communication problems from the views of faculty members at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. The sample of this study consists of 50 faculty members including professors, associate professors, assistant professors, and instructors from five largest departments representing five colleges at the Middle East Technical University. The data were gathered by utilizing interview method, including 19 interview questions which were developed by the researchers. The data collected through interviews were content-analyzed including the process of identifying, coding, and categorizing the primary patterns of data. The results of this study provide evidence that faculty members perceive a number of significant communication problem areas regarding work-related communication and overall departmental communication. Furthermore, although there are some similarities among the faculty members in identifying communication problems as well as the ways of solving these communication problems, some significant differences are also observed among the departments. In addition, analysis of the data revealed that there are some similarities and differences between hard science and soft science departments in defining communication problems and possible ways of solving these communication-related problems.