Reliability and validity are common traditional maxims used in mainstream

Reliability and validity are common traditional

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Reliability and validity are common traditional maxims used in mainstream positivistic research, based on the assumptions that the phenomenon studied is regular and
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87 unchanging (Lawrence, 2006; Shadish, 1995). This, however, is unattainable for the present study, as the views of the ethnic operators are changeable, contextual, and situational, which is common for qualitative research (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Guba, 1990). Instead of reliability and validity, qualitative researchers encourage field researchers to aim for and ensure that their research is credible, authentic, and has plausibility, criticality and trustworthy values (Baxter & Chua, 2008; Golden-Biddle & Locke, 1993; McKinnon, 1988; Patton, 2002). In-depth description of the duration of the fieldwork and the types of participants interviewed could assist in providing credibility and authenticity to the research (Baxter & Chua, 2008). Hall and Hall (2004) suggest that the depth and transparency of the research design and process be explained to increase the trustworthiness of the research. Audit trails detailing the design processes, field notes and analysis enable readers to form their own conclusions based on their own social constructions (Patton, 2002), and to evaluate the plausibility of the researcher’s thoughts and actions. The researcher for this study is not attempting to convince readers by claiming that there is one version of reality but rather that there are multiple versions of it (Mason, 1996). Hence detailed collection, sampling and analysis have been provided to facilitate the trustworthiness of the research. Baxter and Chua (2008) also suggest providing implications of the findings and suggestions for future research as a means to achieve criticality values and to encourage readers to envision new research possibilities. Details of implications and suggestions for future research from this research are set out in Chapter 9. Other tactics used to overcome the threats to validity and reliability “is to use probing” (McKinnon, 1988, p.52). Probing has been used in this research with the three groups of participants for several reasons. First, it enables the researcher to ask the “why” and the “what happened” questions. Second, it allows the researcher to gather contextual data from the participants. Third, it allows participants to clarify their views so that assumptions are not made by the researcher. Fourth, it helps to keep the researcher’s own biases at bay (McKinnon, 1988). Arksey and Knight (1999) also suggest triangulation and providing “thick description” to further achieve trustworthiness and credibility in qualitative research. Triangulation with the use of multiple perspectives from business experts and tax practitioners, as discussed above in section 5.6.4, was adopted to not only add to the credibility of the findings, but also to corroborate, refute or enhance further understanding of ethnicity
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88 and tax compliance (Lawrence, 2006). Thick descriptions are an important component of qualitative research in terms of achieving trustworthiness of the data and forming part of the findings (Patton, 2002; Rubin & Rubin, 1995). Thick descriptions are included in
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  • Fall '16
  • tax compliance, SME Operators

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