Bureaucratic reform in post-Asian crisis Indonesia: the Directorate General of Tax

Yulian Wihantoro, Alan Lowe*, Stuart Cooper, Melina Manochin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44–63
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Early online date30 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Bibliographical note



  • bureaucracy
  • culture
  • ethnography
  • Indonesia Tax Directorate


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