The Dilemma of Knowledge Transfer in Early Independent Indonesia

J. Thomas Lindblad(1*)

(1) Leiden University
(*) Corresponding Author


This article addresses the dilemma of knowledge transfer at the time of decolonization and early independence in Indonesian history. There was an urgently felt need to replace Dutch knowledge as far as possible with knowledge held by Indonesians or imported from foreign countries other than the Netherlands. Concurrently, from the time of Indonesia’s independence there was also a necessity to retain or gain access to practical knowledge required for economic development The article argues that this dilemma was resolved by a mix of policies geared towards different levels of sophistication of the knowledge involved. The article contains a brief theoretical treatment of this dilemma, followed by a global overview of policies implemented. A separate case study on the key banking sector serves to demonstrate the possibilities and constraints in effectuating a transfer of knowledge soon after independence.


banking; decolonization; knowledge transfer; nationalization

Full Text:



Abriyanto, M. Garuda Indonesia: Pengisi kemerdekaan bangsa. Jakarta: Garuda Indonesia, 1995.

Booth, Anne. The Indonesian Economy in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: A History of Missed Opportunities. London: Macmillan, 1998.

Booth, Anne. ‘Government and Welfare in the New Republic: Indonesia in the 1950s’, Itinerario. International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction, Vol. 34 (1), 2010, pp. 57-76.

Campo, J.N.F.M. á. ‘Business not as Usual: Dutch Shipping in Independent Indonesia’, International Journal of Maritime History, Vol. 10 (2), 1998, pp. 1-39.

Donnithorne, Audrey. ‘Western Enterprise in Indonesia Today’, Pacific Affairs, Vol. 27, pp. 27-40.

Graaf, Ton de. Voor Handel en Maatschappij: Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Handel-Maatschappij 1824-1964. PhD dissertation, University of Utrecht, 2012.

Groeneboer, Kees. The Dutch Language in Colonial Indonesia, 1600-1950: A History of Language. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1998.

Korthals Altes, W.L. Tussen cultures en kredieten: Een institutionele geschiedenis van de Nederlandsch-Indische Handelsbank en Nationale Handelsbank, 1863-1964. Amsterdam: NIBESVV, 2004.

Lindblad, J. Thomas. ‘From Java Bank to Bank Indonesia: A Case Study of indonesianisasi in Practice’, Lembaran Sejarah, Vol. 8 (2), 2005, pp. 15-32.

Lindblad, J. Thomas. Bridges to New Business: The Economic Decolonization of Indonesia. Leiden: KITLV Press, 2008.

Lindblad, J. Thomas. ‘The Economic Decolonization of Sumatra’, New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 11 (10), 2009, pp. 178-188.

Post, Peter. ‘The Formation of the Pribumi Business Elite in Indonesia, 1930s-1940s’, in: Peter Post & Ellen Touwen-Bouwsma (eds), Japan, Indonesia and the War. Leiden: KITLV Press, 1997, pp. 87-110.

Sutter, John O. Indonesianisasi: A Historical Survey of the Role of Politics in the Institutions of a Changing Economy from the Second World War to the Eve of the General Election, 1940-1955. PhD thesis, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 1959.

Thee Kian Wie (ed.). Recollections: The Indonesian Economy, 1950s-1990s. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003.

Weber, Andrew & Henk Schulte Nordholt. ‘Interview with Thee Kian Wie’, in: J. Thomas Lindblad & BambangPurwanto (eds), Merajut sejarah ekonomi Indonesia: Essays in honour of Thee Kian Wie, 75 years birthday. Yogyakarta: Ombak, 2010, pp. 41-88.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1302 | views : 1156


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Lembaran Sejarah

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2620-5882 (online) | © 2023 Lembaran Sejarah