The emergence of the tax official into a T-shaped knowledge expert

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Public sector officials have had to engage in new ways of working to reflect the changing practices of the public sector. This paper uses the specific case of professional tax officials in the UK tax administration to examine this broader context, by a longitudinal study. Tax officials are being disciplined by the changing working practices of the tax administration. The tax official becomes a T-shaped tax official who has emerged from a bureaucratic inward facing technical civil servant to become an outward facing new style tax official who still has to engage with the detailed technical tax knowledge as a knowledge expert (the vertical part of the T) but also has to relate to the new way of operating in a strategic and marketing organisation (the horizontal part of the T). This changing role of the tax official has tax policy implications and impacts on the social and organizational aspects of the tax compliance process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-596
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


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