Taxation threat, motivational postures, and responsive regulation

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Title Taxation threat, motivational postures, and responsive regulation
Author Braithwaite, Valerie; Murphy, Kristina; Reinhart, Monika
Journal Name Law & Policy
Year Published 2007
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Abstract The central proposition of motivational posturing theory is that regulatees place social distance between themselves and authority, communicating the nature of that distance through a narrative that protects the self from negative appraisal by the authority. One of the key components of posturing is the coping sensibility that individuals adopt to manage the threat of authority. At a baseline level, authorities make demands on citizens and as such threaten individual freedom. At the highest level, authorities threaten through punishment for non-compliance. Data collected from 3,253 randomly selected Australian taxpayers and a special group of 2,292 taxpayers in conflict with the tax authority are used to show that in both groups, three coping sensibilities contribute to posturing (“thinking morally,” “feeling oppressed,” and “taking control”), and that all three sensibilities are significantly heightened in the group experiencing conflict with the authority. The article argues that the most effective regulatory outcome is achieved when the regulatory process can dampen the “taking control” and “feeling oppressed” sensibilities, and strengthen the “thinking morally” sensibility. Responsive regulation is an approach that encourages tax authorities to read motivational postures, understand the sensibilities that shape them, and tailor a regulatory intervention accordingly.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI
Volume 29
Issue Number 1
Page from 137
Page to 158
ISSN 0265-8240
Date Accessioned 2011-03-30
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Criminology; Law and Society
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1x

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