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Accounting History Research:Traditional and New Accounting History Perspectives


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  • Carmona, Salvador
  • Ezzamel, Mahmoud
  • Gutiérrez, Fernando
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    Existe un debate en historia de la contabilidad acerca de las distintas formas cómo los materiales históricos deben ser recopilados, interpretados, analizados y, finalmente, sobre la forma cómo los mismos deben ser redactados. En cierta manera, el centro de este debate descansa en torno a la eterna polémica acerca de la “objetividad/subjetividad” de la investigación histórica. Así, mientras que la corriente más ortodoxa sostiene la idea de una interpretación objetiva de la historia, el enfoque alternativo defiende una interpretación de carácter crítico. En este artículo, nosotros pretendemos hacer una valoración del debate entre los enfoques tradicional y de nueva historia de la contabilidad. There is an ongoing debate in accounting history around the ways in which historical material should be gathered, interpreted, analysed and written. Lying at the heart of this debate is the perennial concern with ‘objective/interpretive’ modes of investigation. The mainstream orthodoxy of accounting history embraces the ‘objective’ view of history, whereas the alternative approach promotes interpretive and critical stances. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the achievements of NAH. This is attempted here by contrasting NAH with TAH along four dimensions: what counts as accounting; origins versus genealogies; roles of accounting; and sources of historical material. Under each of these dimensions, we show the differences between the two approaches and comment on the extent to which NAH may contribute to the study of accounting history.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Asociación Española de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas (AECA). Spanish Accounting and Business Administration Association. in its journal De Computis.

    Volume (Year): (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 (December)
    Pages: 24-53

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    Handle: RePEc:dec:articl:2004-09:23-53

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    Keywords: Nueva Historia de la Contabilidad; Historia Tradicional de la Contabilidad; Investigación Archivística. New Accounting History; Traditional Accounting History; Archival Research.;


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    1. A. E. Fernández Jilberto, 1991. "Introduction," International Journal of Political Economy, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 21(1), pages 3-9, April.
    2. Miller, Peter & O'Leary, Ted, 1987. "Accounting and the construction of the governable person," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 235-265, April.
    3. Arjo Klamer & Donald McCloskey, 1992. "Accounting as the master metaphor of economics," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 145-160.
    4. Hoskin, Keith W. & Macve, Richard H., 1986. "Accounting and the examination: A genealogy of disciplinary power," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 105-136, March.
    5. Salvador Carmona & Marta Macías, 2001. "Institutional Pressures, Monopolistic Conditions and the Implementation of Early Cost Management Practices: The Case of the Royal Tobacco Factory of Seville (1820-1887)," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 37(2), pages 139-165.
    6. Marcia Annisette, 1999. "Importing accounting: the case of Trinidad and Tobago," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 103-133.
    7. Hopper, Trevor & Armstrong, Peter, 1991. "Cost accounting, controlling labour and the rise of conglomerates," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 16(5-6), pages 405-438.
    8. Hoskin, Keith W. & Macve, Richard H., 1988. "The genesis of accountability: The west point connections," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 37-73, January.
    9. Burchell, Stuart & Clubb, Colin & Hopwood, Anthony & Hughes, John & Nahapiet, Janine, 1980. "The roles of accounting in organizations and society," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 5-27, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. Per Forsberg, 2012. "How to control, intervene and mediate: the role of accounting in a modern textile company," International Journal of Critical Accounting, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 4(1), pages 6-20.
    2. Lepore, Amedeo, 2005. "Sulle origini, sull'evoluzione e sullo stato dell'arte della Storia della Contabilità in Spagna. (Origin, evolution and state of the art of Accounting History in Spain)," De Computis "Revista Española de Historia de la Contabilidad". De Computis "Spanish Journal of Accounting History"., Asociación Española de Contabilidad y Administración de Empresas (AECA). Spanish Accounting and Business Administration Association., issue 3, pages 33-71, December.


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