Hoskin and Macve have suggested that the crucial discontinuity in accounting’s development over the last two centuries occurred with its use for disciplinary purposes at the Springfield Armory in the USA in the 1830s and 1840s. Questions the applicability of their thesis to Britain through an examination of the manuscript records of the Dowlais Iron Company. Determines that, at Dowlais, in the mid‐nineteenth century, the accounting system was used for administrative co‐ordination and managerial decision‐making purposes, but does not appear to have been used for purposes of labour discipline, even though this was a matter of concern. Suggests that the Dowlais management, through the use of other methods to counter indiscipline, was able to develop and utilize the accounting system in other ways; also suggests that accounting in Britain may have developed somewhat differently from that in the USA. Suggests that future research into the history of accounting needs to examine the possibility of separate development paths resulting from varying socio‐economic contexts in different countries.
Boyns, T. and Edwards, J.R. (1996), "The development of accounting in mid‐nineteenth century Britain: a non‐disciplinary view", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 40-60. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513579610121974Download as .RIS
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