Tip 1
Indonesian business characteristics are based firmly on the classic, Asian values of respect for hierarchy and people wishing to introduce a more matrix-oriented approach may find themselves struggling against the weight of history and culture
Tip 2
Always try to show respect for the hierarchy of the organisation you are dealing with, as well as the senior managers of that organisation. Try not to have middle-ranking employees from your company interfacing with the top-level managers from the Indonesian organisation.
Tip 3
Nepotism and cronyism are a fact of business life and it is essential to have the right contacts in the right places. It may be necessary to have locals make the initial introductions - and these introductions can prove expensive.
Tip 4
A combination of extreme dependency on hierarchy and nepotism has resulted in the development of extremely cumbersome bureaucracies. When dealing with these bureaucracies, patience is needed.
Tip 5
The manager is expected to take on the role of father with all the emotional and in-depth concern for subordinates that such a relationship entails. Respect for the manager comes from such bonding rather than from more task-oriented issues such as technical expertise.
Tip 6
Subordinates will give loyalty and dependability to those managers who are seen as worthy of respect.
Tip 7
Decision-making is either directional (coming from the boss) or, in peer to peer situations, is arrived at through lengthy consensus seeking discussions. The latter decision-making process can eat up a great deal of time but little can be done to speed up the process.
Tip 8
Meetings are usually formal occasions with formal body language and communication patterns used to try to create a sense of harmony and ease amongst the delegates.
Tip 9
Business cards are important and should be given out in a formal manner at the beginning of a meeting. Cards should contain as much information about you as possible.
Tip 10
Time seems to be less of an issue in Indonesia than in many other countries and it is not unusual for meetings to start late or finish late. (You could be kept waiting for up to an hour!)