George Martin Sirait

PhD candidate
Supervisor: Associate Professor Michele Ford
Associate Supervisor: Dr Elizabeth Hill

Political economy of employment relations in Indonesia’s retail sector.
Martin's research focuses on Indonesia’s modern retail–a sector that has grown rapidly since its liberalisation in the end of 1990s, played a significant role in Indonesia's consumption-driven economy and has been an important source of employment but studies on the sector are largely underdeveloped. His research falls within the intersection of industrial relations, political economy, and international business, particularly, the globalisation of retail. Using case study methods, the research examines the outcomes (job quality) of employment relations in the sector and investigates factors shaping the similarities and differences of the outcomes between firms, domestic and transnational retailers. The employment aspects examined include job security, work organisation, compensation system, skill formation and labour relations. The research pays particular attention to the institutional frameworks in the country of operation as well as the transnationalisation of 'varieties of national capitalism' from retailer’s country of origin. It interrogates power relations between actors, particularly from workers and their collective representation perspective, contesting in the different levels of institutional settings that in turn determine the construction and effect of institutions at the workplace level.

About the student

Martin is lecturer in Business Administration Program in the Faculty of Economics at the Atma Jaya Catholic University of Indonesia.

Selected publications

  • Sirait, George Martin. 2012. A Decade after Liberalization of Indonesia's Retail Industry: Outcomes and Policy Responses. Retail Digest (Summer):50-53.


  • Sirait, George Martin. 2011. A Decade after Liberalization: Development of Indonesia's retail sector. The 6th Asia-Pacific Retail Conference, Malaysia, 15 September.
  • Sirait, George Martin. 2011. A Decade after Liberalization of Indonesia's Retail Sector: Change and continuity. Indonesia Council Open Conference, University of Western Australia, 28 September.
  • Sirait, George Martin. 2011. A Decade after Liberalization: An institutional perspective on development of Indonesia's retail industry. The 3rd International Graduate Student Conference on Indonesia. Gadjah Mada University, 8-9 November.
  • Sirait, George Martin. 2012. Labour dynamics in Indonesia’s retail sector. Symposium on Labour Dynamics in Indonesia and India: The Comparative Experience, University of Sydney, 13 December.