The dynamics of ‘virtuous organizational identity: the case of regulating or enabling corporate tax compliance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Our empirical study of a government regulatory agency examines how external stakeholders respond to policy-driven change in a way that potentially threatens organizational legitimacy. Specifically, we focus upon the UK tax agency, HMRC, and its move away from its traditional regulatory role towards enabling its’ ‘customer’, the corporate tax payer, to ‘shelter’ tax. We theorize such policy as one of organizational identity change. Focusing upon organizational identity as ‘moral’, we highlight that should a government regulatory agency lose the support of external stakeholders as they engage in identity change, it may threaten legitimacy and survival of that agency. Policy makers need to recognize that their power in defining organizational identity has its limits in public services organizations, where the public and media are likely to debate their moral purpose.


Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Finance and Governance Review
Publication statusPublished - 2015