11 Harrison & McKinnon, 1999; S. Lee & Peterson, 2000; G. Richardson, 2008; Tsakumis, Curatola, & Porcano, 2007). The main attribute of Hofstede’s framework is the five cultural dimensions of power distance, individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity-femininity, and long and short term orientation. Power distance relates to the management of inequality between people, and individualism-collectivism deals with the relationship between individuals and collectives. Uncertainty avoidance relates to the group’s stance towards ambiguity and uncertainty and masculinity-femininity is associated with being achievement or relationship focussed. Finally, long term and short term orientations are associated with the group’s stance towards time and traditions. Each of these dimensions will be used to characterise how different ethnic groups organise themselves and make tax compliance decisions, such as gathering information for filing tax returns, decisions on tax payments, and sources of tax assistance used. From the qualitative mode of the inquiry proposed here, it is appropriate for the researcher to declare her position and motivation for this research. The researcher’s position is likely to have been influenced by her Asian ethnicity, with a family business background for 14 years. Prior to undertaking this study, the researcher had a New Zealand tax agency from 2000 to 2005 to assist SME operators with their tax returns. During those years the clients exhibited much anxiety towards, and made many complaints about, tax compliance. This created a curiosity in the researcher to examine the reasons for their tax compliance concerns and to discover whether these concerns were isolated to certain ethnic groups. Tax compliance is more than just record keeping, but also cash management and relating to the tax authority. With this, it is therefore worthwhile examining each of these issues from the perspectives of SME operators, tax practitioners and business experts. 1.6Structure of the thesis The remainder of the thesis is organised from Chapters Two to Nine. Chapter Two summarises prior literature of tax compliance on SMEs and their differences from other taxpayers. It also includes discussion on cross-cultural and intra-cultural research on ethnicity and tax evasion attitudes and identifies the gap in existing literature. This is followed by Chapter Three which describes the cultural diversity of SMEs and their importance to New Zealand and other OECD countries. Chapter Four summarises and
12 evaluates the two main cultural frameworks used in business research including GLOBE (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004) and Hofstede (2001) and the rationale for choosing Hofstede’s (2001) framework. Chapter Five describes the reasons for choosing the qualitative approach and details the research methodology and method. Chapters Six, Seven and Eight report on and analyse the research findings, using Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions. Chapter Nine is the concluding chapter and
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