Institutional change, continuity and decoupling in the Indonesian industrial relations system

Neil Semuel Rupidara, Peter McGraw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes long run change and continuity within the Indonesian industrial relations (IR) system. Although focused more on labour reform in the post-Soeharto era, the analysis also extends the time line backwards to review key aspects of the Old and New Order periods so as to provide perspective for more recent developments. The article employs institutional theory in the analysis and highlights the roles of different actors during different periods of change. Data was collected through narrative interviews with relevant IR actors and taken from a range of secondary sources. While acknowledging profound changes in the logics and structures of Indonesian IR, the analysis also reveals evidence of institutional continuity across time. The article concludes that recent reforms have produced several negative outcomes for both workers and the labour movement, and have focused more on overt structural elements but less on cultural-cognitive and normative elements that determine behaviour within the new structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-630
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Industrial Relations
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • continuity
  • Indonesia
  • institutional change
  • institutional logic
  • IR


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