Indonesia has often been described as a shining chain of emerald islands scattered across the equator from Asia to Australia. Few countries in the world are comprised of more distinct cultures and languages than Indonesia. The diversity of peoples and belief systems makes it certain that the foreign professional working in Indonesia encounters confusing and unexpected situations. Add to this mix a struggling economy, a nascent democracy with a co- opted bureaucracy and the world's largest Muslim population—the result is a fascinating culture in one of the largest and most important countries in the world.

Cultural Detective Indonesia contains the following stories and critical incidents:

  • Dirty Work:

    Australian and Indonesian geologists come to grips with differing work practices in a gold-mining operation.

  • Putting Out the Fire:

    An Indonesian supplier sues a British customer over differing perspectives on liability and contractual obligations.

  • To Drink or Not to Drink:

    An Argentine delegation in the oil and gas industry is stymied by an Indonesian government official's response to their project proposal.

  • Why Work?:

    The termination of a Papuan worker by a Javanese manager leads to threats of community violence, highlighting the cultural differences within Indonesian society.

  • Smile Is Not a Smile, A:

    Miscommunication about production levels has serious consequences for an Indonesian and an Australian manager.

  • How Many Mothers?:

    A French expatriate becomes suspicious when his Indonesian General Affairs Manager asks for time off.

  • Promotion, The:

    An Indonesian Director refuses a major promotion in a US American insurance company.

  • Strike, The:

    A Taiwanese manufacturer meets with difficulties surrounding Indonesian labor law.

Cultural Detective Indonesia is authored by George Buckmaster Whitfield, Sumartono Sumarsidik and Dianne Hofner Saphiere.


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