Reforming Self: Pitfalls To Avoid To Guarantee Your Success in Reforming Your Organization

Reforming Self: Pitfalls To Avoid To Guarantee Your Success in Reforming Your Organization

 Penulis: Kristian Agung Prasetyo  Publisher: Politeknik Keuangan Negara STAN  Telah Terbit: 01 Nov, 2021  ISBN: 978-623-6784-23-5  Laman: 419  Bahasa: Inggris Read

Change is the new constant. It is inevitable both for individuals and, more importantly, organisations. They need to change or, otherwise, be changed. That is why reform projects are popular. Unfortunately, most of such projects fail to deliver what is promised. Money and time spent for the reform frequently do not produce the desired outcome as an improved self. What are the ingredients of a successful reform project? What are the pitfalls that one need to watch out for in their reform projects?

This book seeks to answer these questions. For this purpose, the author delves into the reform project at the Indonesian tax office. The Indonesian tax office in the past was recognised as one of the most corrupt public institution in Indonesia. Taxpayers, or general Indonesians for that matter, mostly tried at their best to stay away from that institution as possible. The main reason for this was dealing with the tax office meant money was required to be spent as bribe as one navigated the complex maze of tax rule. Help was only available for those who paid.

That era is long gone now. A series of remarkable reform efforts were launched following the economic and political crisis at the end of 1990s that put this great country into a coma. Initially, the reforms were led by the IMF as a way to ensure the sustainability of Indonesia’s revenue, and thereby guaranteeing the continuity of the loan payment. They later snowballed into a massive project reform led by Indonesians. A project that was initially for a small number of tax offices in Jakarta, later it transformed into a nation-wide reform project. Foreign assistance that once at the forefront at a later stage became the periphery. The once most-corrupt institution in less than ten years became one of the least corrupt public office. Granted fraudulent cases still popped up occasionally – the most famous one was the Gayus Tambunan case – but generally, the tax office now was different from what it used to be.

The author investigated how that happened. Through a series of interviews – with low-level tax officers all they up to the highest one – the author studied the process behind the reform project. He then developed a theory that explains the success of that reform. He coined the phrase the soul of reform as a way to explain the general desire to leave the bad practice behind. This is the first part of the study. At the second phase, the author seeks to understand how the reform project evolves. As it turns out, much of the hype that drove the reform now seems to fade away. The new generation of tax officers at the moment seem to be unable to understand the full nature of the soul of reform. This results in a series of gaps eventually lead to the failure to deliver the optimum performance. The book concludes that these gaps need to be addressed if the tax office is to improve its performance.

This book, as such, contributes to the literature by shedding light on the organisational reform of the tax office. Thus, as the contemporary literature mostly focuses on taxpayers, this book completes the overall picture of the study on tax administration by examining the administrative side of the system. Although the focus of the study is the Indonesian tax office, the theories presented in this book can find immediate application in other organisations in similar setting. One key message emerging from this book is that a reform will not succeed unless the people in that organisation desires to change. A reform project will not succeed without having a soul of reform.