Fulfilling kinship obligations at the expense of the individuals needs can

Fulfilling kinship obligations at the expense of the

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Prescott & Hooper, 2009; Warriner, 2007). Fulfilling kinship obligations at the expense of the individuals’ needs can hinder successful business operation including paying their taxes on time. Given the cultural differences of the ethnic groups, government bodies, including the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), need to have a “poly-contextual sensitivity” (von Glinow, Shapiro, & Brett, 2004, p. 588) with regard to the factors that influence SME taxpayers’ compliance behaviours. This is particularly relevant when the cultural values of ethnic groups may differ from the European values which are dominant in New Zealand. 3.2.1 Business assistance programs in New Zealand The New Zealand government assists SMEs through business training programmes offered through various government agencies such as New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Enterprise New Zealand (through the various councils). The business training includes understanding the New Zealand business environment and their tax obligations. Although these services are provided free of charge, the Small
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36 Business Advisory Group (SBAG) are concerned with the low uptake by Maori, Asian and Pacific Peoples (Small Business Advisory Group, 2008), which can lead to business failures resulting from their unfamiliarity with business and tax requirements. It has been found that Maori and Pacific operators do not learn well from mainstream business courses as they are considered too academic and lacking practical relevance (Crocombe, 2008; Zapalska, Dabb, & Perry, 2003). Instead they prefer “a more participative, hands-on approach using practical examples” (Zapalska, Dabb, et al., 2003, p. 172). To meet their unique needs, business training programs are now offered via Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) (Ministry of Maori Development) and the Pacific Business Trust (PBT). Both TPK and PBT provide business facilitation services, customised business training workshops, business advice and mentoring to Maori and Pacific entrepreneurs respectively (Pacific Business Trust, 2010; Te Puni Kokiri, 2010). 3.3 Cultural differences and business behaviours Culture, although basically unconscious, manifests itself in the business practices and decisions made (E. Hall, 1976; Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars, 1996; Schein, 1985). According to Hofstede and Hofstede (2005), the actions, words and behaviours of an individual can be traced to their underlying cultural values. The study of culture is also important as one “cannot strip people of their common sense constructs or routine ways of seeing” and one “cannot understand why [an] individual and organisation acts as they do without considering the meanings they attribute to their environment” (Trompenaars et al., 1994, p. 19). Cultural values are enduring and are deeply embedded within individuals and they are resistant to change (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005; Hoppe, 1990). Recognising the cultural underpinnings of business behaviours, the SBAG suggests government staff be culturally aware of the ethnic groups’ needs, to encourage more participation in government funded business programs (Small Business Advisory Group, 2008). This is because having cross-cultural understanding reduces one’s own
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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