Ethics management in the public sector : the case of Indonesian tax administration reform

  • Yari Yuhariprasetia

    Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


    The thesis investigates the implementation of ethics management in the Indonesian DGT (Directorate General of Taxes). Ethics management is the sum of efforts taken to create public servants’ ethical sensitivity and consciousness in performing their duties. In the ethics management literature, the compliance and integrity approaches are commonly distinguished and represented as two opposing ends of a continuum. The literature also stresses that the two approaches should be combined and a balance struck between them. This study examines how the two approaches are mixed in the DGT. There are two dimensions of ethics management: “the what”, which refers to the specific instruments and policies, and “the how”, which comprises the design and formalisation of structures and processes. “The how” dimension is known as ethics institutionalisation. This study seeks to show how these two dimensions of ethics management have been implemented and how they have evolved over time in the DGT. Further, it observes how the change has affected the ethics management approach. The study found that the evolution of the ethics management approach in the DGT conforms to international studies, in which the approach and decisions tend to be pragmatic and scandal-driven. It also discovered that the compliance-integrity continuum has limitations as an analytical tool and proposed the use of the compliance-integrity matrix. Lastly, the study argued that formal ethics institutionalisation and the compliance approach do not always converge, and neither do informal ethics institutionalisation and the integrity approach. The research presents three recommendations for DGT. First, the DGT’s internal compliance function should be in a unit of its own, rather than combined with other functions. Second, for more improved ethics management, the DGT should use surveys as an ethics instrument. Third, the DGT should apply more informal and implicit ethics institutionalisation, such as ethical leadership.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Halligan (Supervisor) & Wahyu Sutiyono (Supervisor)

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