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Title: Examining the responses and coping mechanisms of food leaders in the face of challenges : a case from Turkey
Author: Turkmenoglu, Mehmet
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 1825
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2016
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This research aims to explore how Turkish business leaders tackle and navigate challenges in times of crisis. Recent Gezi Park protests in Istanbul, Turkey triggered a multilayered crisis. These protests lasted more than two months, having long-term effects on Turkey’s social, cultural and economic life. Therefore, this thesis considers these Gezi Park protests as a crisis for food sector business leaders in the neighbourhood. This research examines leaders’ processes of dealing with the protests, by drawing on interviews with 40 leaders in the food sector. First, it investigates how these leaders addressed the protests, as leaders’ responses affected their businesses. Secondly, it discusses challenges experience by leaders during the protests. Finally, it investigates leaders ‘coping mechanisms’ in the face of challenges. The thematic analysis of data suggests that those leaders who helped the protestors by opening their doors prioritised humanity before any ideology. These leaders put humane values first, such as acting with conscience, feeling empathy and feeling compassion despite having opposing political views. This behaviour is considered successful leadership behaviour. Conversely, those leaders who put their self-interests first by closing their doors to the protestors are considered unsuccessful leaders. It emerged that leaders faced emotional, physical, interpersonal and financial challenges during the protests. Leaders coped with challenges by remaining hopeful about the future, by being patient, by being supported by family and friends, by becoming accustomed to the challenges, and by adopting an exit strategy.
Supervisor: Ozbilgin, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hard times ; Crisis ; Gezi park protests