Social Responsibility and Accountability in State-owned Enterprises (SOEs)
: A Case Study of Listed SOEs in Indonesia

  • Dianne Koan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


There is a growing concern among company stakeholders that has increasingly forced entities to pay greater attention to social responsibility in their business. However, most research regarding social responsibility activities and reporting was conducted for private companies in some of the most developed countries. This study aims to explore the practice of social responsibility programmes, stakeholder engagement and the mechanism of accountability regarding the report of social programmes in the context of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). As public sector institutions, these companies hold unique characteristics and serve numerous interests of stakeholder groups within local, regional and national regions which need to be provided with an account. This interpretive research took a case study approach in four listed SOEs in Indonesia. Interviews and group discussions were conducted with 15 key respondents from SOEs and 20 participants who represent numerous stakeholders of SOEs. Together with document analysis and observations, this provided findings which are likely to contrast to previous studies undertaken in private sectors. This case study shows that SOEs mandatorily undertake their social responsibility as required by the regulations. Two different types of regulations regarding social responsibility in Indonesia had affected SOEs to (i) undertake two different social responsibility programmes, (ii) create two different units in the organisation structure, (iii) provide two different budget accounts, and (iv) prepare two types of reports follows each standard accordingly. This study also outlines that despite having a duty to be profitable, forced SOEs to prioritise social welfare of those who are considered as relatively insignificant stakeholders. The other findings in this research indicate that SOEs tend to overlook the expected accountability in regards to social responsibility reporting. Instead of providing information to stakeholders, the social reports provided by SOEs tend to fulfil the requirements of management performance indicator. Further, this study highlighted loopholes for behavioural displacement from particular stakeholder derived from unclear regulations regarding social responsibility report. In addition, this research identifies findings that might enrich the stakeholder theory approach, which has been limited to private sectors. The role of the owner and the majority shareholder who acts as regulator as well as in the interest of citizens becomes vital to the SOEs presented in this study, and contributes a potential consideration to modify stakeholder theory according to the unique characteristic of SOEs.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SponsorsIndonesia Endowment Fund for Education
SupervisorGwen Hannah (Supervisor) & Gizella Marton (Supervisor)


  • Social Responsibility
  • Stakeholder
  • Accountability
  • State-owned Enterprises

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