The Government places a strong focus on initiatives and social innovations that make the greatest difference to our communities. Better outcomes are achieved when the design of these are driven by an in-depth understanding of the customer and ‘what works’.
Colmar Brunton’s Social Research Agency gauges public, business and stakeholder opinion to help our clients tackle unmet social and business needs through understanding what is effective and why. We’ve been involved in major government initiatives focused on income support, the student loan scheme, retirement savings, business compliance costs, housing initiatives, and the Canterbury earthquakes, to name a few.
Learning from the impact of adverse events on SME compliance behaviour
The social and economic disruption following sudden large-scale adverse events, such as the Canterbury earthquakes, has the potential to affect long term business debt, and change social norms and attitudes leading to increased hidden economy activity during recovery.
To understand these and emerging new risks following the Canterbury earthquakes, and the impact Inland Revenue (IR) has had in mitigating them, Colmar Brunton carried out research with SMEs, tax agents, and stakeholders as part of a three-year longitudinal project.
Key learnings focussed on the need for IR’s response and interventions to be tailored to SMEs’ different stages of recovery, but with recognition that time spent in each stage varies. Therefore, we highlighted flags for IR to identify which recovery stage a SME is in, and the associated policy, operational and communication strategies required. We also drew attention to how IR’s response model needs to change and adapt as businesses change and adapt.
IR have used the results to inform its ongoing response to the Canterbury earthquakes and to develop a framework for managing compliance behaviour for future adverse events.
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