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KBS Spring Series Research Seminar at 1.30p.m. on Tuesday 30th April in KB3-18 - Martin Laheen 'Technical Competence, Knowledge and Innovation within a Portfolio of Capitals: How Tax Workers Value their own Proficiency'

KBS Spring Series Research Seminar at 1.30 p.m. on  Tuesday 30th April in KB3-18 with a presentation by Martin Laheen, the title of Martin’s presentation is:

Technical Competence, Knowledge and Innovation within a Portfolio of Capitals: How Tax Workers Value their own Proficiency

All Welcome

In this paper, we look at the value that tax experts subjectively put on different facets of expertise in the context of their day-to-day tax work, and how their perception of being expert in tax, influences their professional decision- making. Drawing on Bourdieusian concepts, we suggest that among a range of competing capitals, expertise is valued as a form of objectified capital, and is influential in terms of inclusion into ‘capital portfolios’ as described by (Spence et al. 2016). In this paper, expertise encompasses being knowledgeable, technical competent, and innovative. At an organisational level, the literature suggests these facets of expertise carry an objectified ‘value’, which give the holder an organisationally recognised status and a strategically competitive professional advantage. While this paper focuses on subjective interpretations of expertise as expert capital, we complement this focus with data gathered from a survey of over eleven hundred tax experts worldwide (N=1040). In the context of their everyday tax work, we find that the subjective value allocated to different facets of expertise is influenced by factors such as age, career stage, gender, and employment sector. While prior work in this area of research has mainly focused on professional service firms, our ‘field’ incorporates tax experts working in a broader than usual range of environments. This has allowed us to build on a body of existing research that argues for a greater understanding, of how knowledge, technical competence and innovation are constructed and labelled as capitals across a diverse range of tax expert environments.