Indonesia Study Group

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
20 February, 2019
McDonald Room, Menzies Library entry level, RG Menzies Building #2, ANU


Research Travel Grants recipients’ presentations

Sustainability practices of Japanese manufacturing multinational corporations (MNCs) in ASEAN Member States

Masayoshi Ike (Swinburne University of Technology)

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the responsibility of firms for the impacts on society and environment. Significant amount of extant work exists for CSR practiced by Japanese multinational enterprises (MNEs), however few investigate the CSR practiced at subsidiaries, particularly in developing nations. Indonesia is a rapidly industrialising nation, with the highest population in ASEAN, combined with low gross domestic product per capita. Over 1,700 Japanese multinational enterprises (MNEs) operate in Indonesia. A case study approach was taken to investigate the CSR practices of four Japanese MNE subsidiaries of different sizes in Indonesia, to determine what type of CSR is practiced in these subsidiaries, and whether these are strategic or responsive CSR. It was found that the smallest subsidiary of less than 200 employees did not practice any discrete CSR programs. The other three subsidiaries practiced responsive CSR, even where the corporate mission and vision statements were seen to be of importance. The CSR requirements in the Indonesian company law were noted by two of the subsidiaries, however it was found that they lacked prescriptive clarity enabling specific action.

Soenting Melajoe, the first all-female edited women’s magazine in the Dutch East Indies (1912-1921)

Bronwyn Anne Beech Jones (University of Melbourne)

The presentation will contextualise the intentions of Zoebeidah Ratnaa Djoewita and Siti Roehana in founding Soenting Melajoe in 1912 and their patron Datoe’ Soetan Maharadja. It will analyse Soenting Melajoe‘s local, intra-colonial and transnational influences and representations: Minangkabau ethnic identity and matrilineality. It will also analyse issues of importance to women in early-twentieth century Sumatra as read through contributions to Soenting Melajoe and situate the magazine in Indonesian women’s history.

Intra-party governance and anti-corruption policy in Indonesia

Owen James (University of Sydney)

Scholars have clearly identified Indonesia’s political parties as a weak link in the country’s democracy. A key complaint of scholarship and public commentary is the inability of the parties to rein in corrupt and self-serving behaviours of the country’s political elite. This study investigates the relationship between the parties as institutions and the misbehaviour of their members, examining how the parties’ internal disciplinary systems shape the behaviour of their members and asking how the effectiveness of their discipline systems is determined by the wider institutional characteristics of the party organisation. In doing so, this study questions the narrative that Indonesia’s history of authoritarianism has undermined the institutional development of the political parties and made them dysfunctional. This thesis interrogates recent literature concerned with the relationship between institutionalisation and discipline, contesting the scholarly proposition that institutionalisation necessarily leads to better party discipline. Through an extensive examination of the internal disciplinary systems of Golkar and NasDem, this research illuminates the relationship between discipline and the institutional characteristics of the parties. These case studies demonstrate that higher institutionalisation is not synonymous with better discipline–finding that the more highly institutionalised Golkar has an equivalently dysfunctional discipline system to the weakly institutionalised NasDem. The thesis explains this result as a function of a conditional relationship between institutionalisation and disciplinary effectiveness. It outlines how this conceptual relationship is structured and concludes that the overall level of institutionalisation is less important than the particular way a party is institutionalised.