Our research examines a key aspect of the extensive bureaucratic reform program that was applied to the Indonesian public sector following the Asian Economic crisis. The organisation we focus on is the Indonesian Directorate of Tax. The reforms moved the case organisation towards more bureaucratic organisational arrangements. The most notable elements of the reforms related to the organisational efficiency and changes in administrative style and culture. An ethnographic approach was adopted, in which the researcher was immersed in the life of the selected case organisation over an extended period of time. This research extends a thin literature on the topic of management control and culture in the Indonesian context. Also, this paper fills a gap in the theoretic approaches for studying bureaucracy, which is dominated by western conceptualisations. This paper provides a reminder to policy makers (including organisation such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) of the consequences of neglecting cultural influences when conducting bureaucratic reform.
- Indonesia Tax Directorate