Indonesian business culture may not seem different from the practices of other nations. Many foreign entrepreneurs may be intimidated by this diverse country with 270 million population business conduct. With its diversity and long history, Indonesia has also become a melting pot of culture by itself. In general, the psychology of business behaviours is visible from two perspectives; eastern and western culture. In Indonesia, and like most Asian countries, the people tend to behave in a collectivistic manner. On the other hand, western countries like America adopts an individualistic approach. That way, an individual puts their personal needs above others.
Furthermore, another factor that may affect Indonesian business culture is the holistic way of thinking. A holistic way of thinking stems from collectivism. A holistic way of thinking does not see elements separately. On the contrary, people with this way of thinking tend to see things as a part of something. According to an article by the BBC, these differences also influences how we see things. An individualistic person seeing a bigger person seeming to intimidate a smaller person may perceive it as bullying. On the other hand, a holistic way of thinking may reason the situation as a father scolding his child.
Not only that, but the history of Indonesia also plays a crucial role in shaping the country and its society. Indonesia has a lot of influence from the Dutch as the country suffered from 300 years of colonization. During the long period, many cultural exchanges involuntarily happened. Today, only notaries are certified to make company decree for company establishments.
Indonesian Business Culture 101
Indonesian business culture is perceivable as rather conservative. Unlike most individualistic cultures that are more direct in speech, Indonesians prefer to be indirect. They tend to beat around the bush and give hints that subtly lead to their preference. The main reason for adopting this strategy is to ensure that the other party is not offended. A person’s direct way of speaking may convey the image of brusque and rude.
Another prominent behaviour in Indonesian business culture is the relatively slow working pace. Many foreign entrepreneurs or expatriates experience frustration at the slower working pace of the local Indonesian workforce. The slow working pace does not only apply to employees but also to businesses when it comes to decision making. Indonesian business culture tends to take things slower and mull over ideas, ensuring that all parties are happy with the final decision. This is unlike many western companies that have a quicker decision making process. Plus, the evident hierarchical culture also plays a large role in the speed of decision making.
Indonesian business culture is also very flexible and accommodative. Indonesian entrepreneurs tend to provide room for change or tolerance. Although in general, this may be a good thing, a lot of foreign entrepreneurs may find it a little frustrating. Imagine negotiating a contract term, when everything seems sorted the other party suddenly decided to change the contents. In Indonesian business culture, the change may be tolerable as long as there is a reason. Not just in business, within a company, there is also an expectation from the workers that the managers tolerate their slower lifestyle. This may often lead to discipline issues in the office. The local workforce tends to take things slower and prioritise family and personal matters over work responsibilities.
Conquering the Difference
The points discussed are only three out of many that represent the nature of Indonesian business culture. To ensure a successful investment and business sustainability in Indonesia, entrepreneurs need to be aware of these behaviours. Thus, to conquer this bridge, entrepreneurs must put more effort into communicating and training the local workforce. With their flexible and accommodating nature, they should be able to focus more on work productivity.
Another way of solving this issue is by using a virtual office or serviced office service. A virtual office or serviced office service also provides a receptionist and cleaner facility. That way, entrepreneurs or expatriates have two to three fewer people to manage. At MESO virtual office, the receptionist will take care of administrative tasks for the clients. Those tasks include incoming mails, packages, and calls. The incoming calls can also be transferred to the numbers that the client wants.
Furthermore, entrepreneurs also do not need to pay the salaries of the receptionists, managers, or cleaner team provided by MESO. They only need to pay the office rental fee. Aside from the receptionists, the manager will ensure that all facilities are in tip-top condition and ready to use. They will also be responsible for the performance of the receptionist team and the cleaner team. With these three services, foreign entrepreneurs and expatriates can focus on their business sales.
For more information on virtual office or serviced office, visit www.meso.co.id or send us an inquiry on email@example.com. Our live chat agent is also available to answer your questions on Whatsapp +62 812 1315 4189.