Given the above the researcher has exposure to all major cultures but is more

Given the above the researcher has exposure to all

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cultures regularly every week. Given the above, the researcher has exposure to all major cultures but is more familiar with businesses owned by Asians and Europeans rather than the Maori and Pacific groups. The advantages of research being carried out by a researcher of the same ethnicity includes accessibility, language, better understanding and appreciation of the cultural nuances with a greater ability to interpret the stories of the participants in an authentic manner (Merriam et al., 2001). However, there is also the possibility of the inherent bias of reporting only the positive aspects of the culture to which one belongs (Mataira, 2000; L. Smith, 1999). Some are reluctant to confront and ask contentious questions that may cast a negative image on the culture to which they belong (Bishop, 1996; Macpherson, 2001). This is especially relevant for collectivistic groups as negative comments may eventuate in shame for the participants within their communities. In order to minimise the effect of this potential problem, the confidentiality of the participants was given high priority by not asking for personal information about their age, education level and income. In addition, being an “outsider” is an added advantage for the researcher as the researcher is not part of their close knit community. Another limitation of the researcher’s being of the same ethnicity as the participants relates to the lack of honesty and openness from the participants when researching on issues that may have adverse repercussions. This was found by Parameswaran (2001) in her study on the sexuality of Indian females, such that her Indian ethnicity caused some of her participants to be less honest and open with their accounts. Similarly, as tax compliance is a sensitive topic, the participants of the same ethnicity as the researcher may not admit to the challenges and problems faced because of fear that others within the community may come to know about it. The freedom to share more honestly about the problems and issues that participants may have to an outsider researcher is an advantage. Furthermore, the outsider researcher may offer alternative perspectives that may assist some ethnic taxpayers as the researcher is not faced with the problem of ethnocentricity (Gallhofer & Chew, 2000). Hence there are advantages and
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69 disadvantages in being an insider and outsider researcher for studying different ethnic groups. 5.4.2.2 Acculturation to Maori, Pacific and Asian customs To acculturate to the Maori and Pacific cultures, the researcher attended eight Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) and Pacific Business Trust (PBT) business functions from 2009 to 2011. The researcher is also on their mailing lists and is informed of business updates and functions relating to Maori and Pacific businesses. The ability to secure Maori, Pacific, and to a lesser extent Asian, business operators was the result of the researcher’s close association with key informants. One of the key informants is AUT’s equity manager who has access to and is familiar with Pacific and Maori businesses. Another is a
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  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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