Category Archives: Review of article

School Leadership: Exploring the Influence of Context and Individual Characteristics on Leadership Skills

Students of Sentarum

Purni Susanto, School of Education, Flinders University

We all have heard statements such as, “He is born to be a leader” or “She is a natural leader”.

The trait perspective of leader suggests that certain individuals have special innate or inborn characteristics or qualities that make them a leader (Northouse, 2010). Some of the qualities were even set physical appearance (e.g. height) as the quality of leaders (Northouse, 2010). It was believed that people were born with great personality, and that only these great people can possess it.

People think that leadership is something that born and given by the God. To the most extreme, they believe that leaders are the God’s incarnation and therefore they behave more like God. Leaders have been specifically selected by the nature and sent to the world to rule on behalf of the Him. As selected figures, leaders have extraordinary characteristics and behaviour which distinguish them from the average people. So, leaders have outstanding personal qualities which according to Daft (2008, p.8) are hard to see but are very powerful. “These include things like enthusiasm, integrity, courage and humility.” This trait approach suggests that leadership is only for special, usually inborn, talent people (Northouse, 2010). 

However, some others contend that leadership skills can be learned and developed. Based on this opinion, everyone has a chance to be a leader as long as he or she is persistent, hardworking and self-determinant.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “Contrary to the opinion of many people, leaders are not born, leaders are made, and they are made by effort and hard work” (as cited in Lussier & Achua, 2010, p. 9).

This article will examine the importance of context as well as individual characteristics on leadership skills at school context. It argues that leadership skills are shaped as the result of the combination of personal capacities and the enhancement of situation. First, this essay will analyse the importance of personal characteristics in shaping the leadership personality. The importance of situation in creating leaders will be explored afterwards. Next, the contribution of both personal characteristics and cultural context (situation) will be discussed.         

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Filed under Academic writing, Education, Indonesia, Review of article

Trade in value added, what is the difference?


iPod Ad in Beijing

Christopher Findlay, Dean of Faculty of Professions, University of Adelaide

Would you believe it?  Indonesia actually has a trade surplus with China.  How did this happen?  This is what we find in a new data set released by the OECD and the WTO last month.

We are familiar with the iPod story: it is exported from China but only about 10% of the value of the product is actually added in China.  The rest comes from other countries, either inputs to the item or services that facilitate the process of its assembly. This sort of case study has prompted work on the new data set, which is constructed to find out where the value in a product is created, from foreign sources or domestic.

What are the key messages from the dataset about Indonesia?

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Filed under East Asia, Economic Integration, Indonesia, Review of article, Services, Trade

A reply to “BULOG: A good or confused choice”

Editor’s note: We have commitment to promote discussion on various topics on Indonesian development especially those that have been covered by our past articles. The following comment by YS Tey (John) on our previous post entitled “BULOG: A good or confused choice” is interesting and deserves more attention. We thank John for sharing his thoughts.

YS Tey (John)

A strong message from the recent Food Price Crisis was “business-as-usual” models are not sustainable in challenging environment. While the message did not provide an absolute answer to the model, it did suggest that a total reliance on a SINGLE POLICY is not likely to handle the complexity in food security.

Risti has debated two policy options: self-sufficiency and self-reliance. The former sounds objectively appealing. However, the latter is indeed more practically appropriate. In simple expression, that is to import food when world prices are cheaper than home production. Doing so will release domestic farmlands for other agricultural activities that have relative comparative advantage.

The question is what are these “other agricultural activities”? I do not have an answer to that. Indonesian economists obviously have to follow up. That should be done in the spectrum of general equilibrium in order to make justice for food security and relative comparative advantage.

Researchers should, however, be realistic. Statistical results that show relative comparative advantage could be meaningless if the implications do not match with the reality. E.g., wheat has lower production cost but it can only be grown at high latitudes in Indonesia. Here wheat is used as an example to highlight the extreme of economic analyses that ones may obsess with.

Careful consideration is indeed required! Pure economic studies always fall short of that. Could we call upon agriculturists and farmers to look at that complex issue? I bet these non-economists have better insights into what agricultural activities are doable and non-doable. By saying so, I do not disregard the importance of economists. Rather, multidisciplinary insights can definitely lead to better and practical policy options. Are economists willing to walk out and talk? Go ahead!

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Economic development, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, Review of article, Trade

If it’s not the economy, then what to do?

water pollution

Budi Akmal Djafar’s opinion piece in The Jakarta Post (Sept. 20) entitled “It’s [not] the economy stupid!” intrigued me. I like and support his overall idea that we should not only focus on the size of the pie (or box using his illustration) but also how to share the pie.

But being a mother of a five-year-old boy (and a baby) who is expanding his vocabulary at a pace much faster than the Chinese economy’s growth rate, the word “stupid” is a big no-no in our household.

Sure, as an economist, I know where the term originated from but mentioning that term has a big implication on how we should perceive the existing problems that Indonesia is facing now, as suggested by Budi’s piece.

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Filed under Climate change and environment, Income inequality, Indonesia, Poverty, Review of article

Rethinking Poverty

Rural poverty in Indonesia

Back in 2006, an article at the Economist reported “The Indonesian economy is growing. But so, unfortunately, is poverty“.

How about our poverty reduction programs’ progress in 2011?

On 7 December 2011 at PPIA (Indonesian student association) academic workshop, Chandra Wibowo, a graduate of Master in Applied Economics (Public Policy) who was the former president of PPIA University of Adelaide in the 2010-2011 period, presented his work “A Rethinking of Indonesia’s Poverty Reduction Strategies”. The workshop was well-attended by Indonesian students and researchers currently residing in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Filed under Economic development, Income inequality, Indonesia, Poverty, PPIA academic discussion, Review of article

Indonesian consumers’ choices: Modern or traditional food markets?

Indonesian Traditional Market: Orange Seller

The convenience of modern supermarkets (including hypermarkets and other modern food retail formats) is probably something that urban people in Indonesia cannot live without. Consumers enjoy these markets’ airconditioned buildings, more varieties of products including fast arrival of new products as well as competitive prices. However, what are the impacts of these modern retailers on traditional traders?

On 1 November 2011 at PPIA (Indonesian student association) academic workshop, Hery Toiba, a PhD candidate of School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide, presented his work entitled “Indonesian Consumers’ Choices of Food Retail Formats: Are Traditional Food Retailers being ‘Crowded Out’?. The workshop was well-attended by Indonesian students and researchers currently residing in Adelaide, South Australia.
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Filed under Economic development, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, PPIA academic discussion, Review of article

Indonesian Chilli Farmers’ Participation at the Supermarket Channel

Yin Yang Of Jalapeno Chili Peppers

Indonesian people love spicy and fiery food. Chilli is Indonesian staple food in addition to rice making chilli one of the most important agricultural commodities in Indonesia. Its price fluctuation is said to significantly affect change in the inflation rates. As in any markets, the fluctuation can be affected by both demand and supply sides. From the supply side, chili crops that require decent dry weather before harvesting caused high prices in early 2011 due to unusual heavy rainfall during the dry season. From the demand side, food prices including chilli typically rise ahead of and during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan. To control the inflation rates, government assistance to help farmers deal with this climatic change is crucial in addition to (temporary) trade policy such as imports.

Indonesia’s growing supermarket channels should have also been part of these solutions. On 18 October 2011 at PPIA (Indonesian student association) academic workshop, Sahara, a PhD candidate of School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the University of Adelaide and Lecturer at Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia, discussed various determinants of Indonesian chilli farmers’ participation at supermarket channels and how the participation affects their income. The workshop was well-attended by Indonesian students and researchers currently residing in Adelaide, South Australia.
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Filed under Climate change and environment, Economic Integration, Fair trade, Food and agriculture, Indonesia, PPIA academic discussion, Review of article, Trade