Taking Advantage of a Unique Knowledge Base on the Indonesian Business Environment

Nathan H. Gray - has undertaken PhD research into Indonesian Business Behaviour over the past three years, and has developed substantial knowledge on the Indonesian Business Environment

On Tuesday 6th March (Tomorrow morning), I will present a paper to the School of Commerce at the University of South Australia as part of the Centre for Accounting Governance and Sustainability Seminar Series. This paper is nominally titled “Perantara: The Javanese Way of Managing Business Relationships in Indonesia”, and will comprise the principle findings of the PhD research that I have undertaken both in Indonesia and Australia over the past three years.  This presentation will be a culmination of my work over this period where I have actively engaged with government and business, developed strong relationships and learnt a great deal about the conduct of business in an Indonesian environment. As it stands now the PhD is almost complete and when I submit in the coming weeks it will be time for me to move onto a new chapter in my life…..and I intend it to be a successful chapter indeed. 

Over the past three years, I have developed a strong network of business and government contacts in Indonesia and Australia that are principally concerned with investment, trade and business between Australia and Indonesia. The PhD research I have undertaken, required a qualitative approach to data collection, whereby I actively engaged in interviews and discussions with over 55 executives and senior managers in Indonesia and Australia. In addition to these interviews I was able to participate in 49 negotiation events, which endowed me with firsthand experience of the Indonesian negotiation style and how it effects and affects international business negotiations.  In the academic world there is often a debate about the relative merits of qualitative (ie. Interviews, observations, document analysis etc), and quantitative (Statistics and econometric orientated analysis) methods. In the case of my research, I actively decided upon pursuit of a qualitative methodology due to the challenge of gaining trustworthy data in the Indonesian business environment.  As a consequence of this qualitative approach, I have been allowed a unique insight into a multitude of experiences related to Indonesian negotiation and business behaviour.  If I add up the collective years of experience in the Indonesian business environment of the 55 senior executives, then I have built up over 300 years of collective knowledge of the business environment, across agribusiness, banking and finance, engineering, mining and education.

The Indonesian Business Environrment is rapidly developing and there is a need to understand how your business, and government can be part of this changing enviornment.

The knowledge I have attained through the course of this PhD research process has allowed me to achieve a full appreciation of the Indonesian business environment, and identify the true potential that Australian business and government leaders have often failed to grasp in recent years.  Upon starting the PhD research, I discovered a serious lack of research into the Indonesian business environment, and I have attempted to address this lack of academic literature through publication of academic and referred journal articles and conference papers, and contribution to the professional business community through publication of professional orientated articles. As I approach the final stages of my PhD journey I am seeking to re-enter the business community and help Australian and or International organisations make greater inroads into the Indonesian business environment.  I have found the PhD process to be a rewarding process, and I anticipate the next stage of my life will be just as rewarding.  I look forward to utilising this unique knowledge of Asia’s third largest country, and one of the world’s most important emerging economies to further develop business, community and social relationships in Indonesia.

If you would like to meet with me to discuss how I can help you and your organisation achieve success in the Indonesian market, or you would like to discuss new opportunities emerging in the near future, please send me an email (nathan@asiaaustralis.com). Alternatively check-out my LinkedIn Profile and the website of my company AsiaAustralis.

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