Private sector lessons for public sector reform in Indonesia

Author name: 
Ross H. McLeod

Development economists often analyse the performance of particular sectors of the economy, yet they have largely ignored that of one of the most important sectors, namely, the public sector, the performance of which is demonstrably poor. They are also continually giving recommendations to the Indonesian government as to what constitutes sound economic policy, whereas there is abundant evidence that the bureaucracy has neither the incentive nor the competence to implement such policy. Civil service reform is therefore crucial to improving Indonesia’s economic performance. This paper argues that the key to such reform is the adoption of human resource management practices similar to those that can be observed in successful, large business enterprises: namely, creating an environment of open and fair competition for all positions within the organisation.

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