The hermeneutic aspect attempts to capture data from the inside through a

The hermeneutic aspect attempts to capture data from

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The hermeneutic aspect attempts to capture data “from the inside”, through a process of attentiveness, empathetic understanding and interacting with the participants (Rapley, 2007). Semi-structured face-to-face in-depth interviews were used to unlock the mental constructions of ethnic SME operators to better understand their tax compliance behaviours and perceptions (Patton, 2002). The strength of interviews is in the richness and depth of the information gathered from the “real world” experiences of participants and therefore has high external validity (Fontana & Frey, 2000; Gaskell, 2000). It is acknowledged that interviewing the participants does lower the reliability of the findings as it is highly unlikely to get the same outcome if the research is replicated by another researcher (I. Hall & Hall, 2004; Silverman, 2000). The reliability concern is addressed in section 5.8. The constructivist-interpretive paradigm emphasises the importance of capturing and honouring multiple perspectives and contemplating how individuals describe, explain, or account for the world in which they live (Berger & Luckmann, 1966; Blumer, 1969; Costantino, 2008). To the participants, realities are therefore continuously being constructed and reconstructed in a dialectic process by interacting with other individuals and their social world (D. Patterson & Keefe, 2006). Hence, the constructivist- interpretive paradigm allows for the richness of the data in identifying the complexities of human decisions, which are deeply rooted in past experiences, culture, and personal
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71 factors (Bauer & Aarts, 2000; Denzin & Lincoln, 2000). This paradigm is therefore suited to gather understanding of how SME operators construct and act on their perceived realities which are based on their cultural, socio-economic, institutional and political factors (Ahmed & Braithwaite, 2005; Henry, 2007; Massey, 2005). 5.5 Research method and sample participants Qualitative researchers generally use observations, interviews or focus group discussions to collect evidence for their studies (Neuman, 2006; Silverman & Marvasti, 2008). Of the three main qualitative methods, this thesis chose interviews for six reasons. First, a significant number of small business tax studies have adopted the interview method. Second, there are high non-response rates and low SME participants in tax surveys (Hanefah et al., 2001). Third, ethnic group surveys have generated abysmally low response rates, particularly from those ethnic groups with collectivistic traits (Chaganti & Greene, 2002). Fourth, there is a preference for face-to-face dialogues in some ethnic groups. Fifth, findings from focus groups may be skewed if conducted with poor representation from the ethnic groups. Sixth, the more dominant voices in the focus groups can deter others from actively participating in the discussion.
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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