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Innovation, convergence and argument without end in accounting history

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  • Stephen P. Walker
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    Abstract

    Purpose – This paper seeks to review the accounting history content of Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal (AAAJ) over the last 20 years and to identify distinctive research themes therein. Observations and suggestions are offered in relation to future accounting history research. Design/methodology/approach – The study comprises an analysis of the content of AAAJ and related literature. Findings – Histories appearing in AAAJ have focused on technical issues, accounting in business organisations, cost and management accounting, accounting historiography, professionalisation, and socio-cultural studies of accounting. The journal has been an important medium for the pursuit of interdisciplinarity, the promotion and practical application of new research methods, methodological pluralism, and searches for convergence in historical debates. Research limitations/implications – The paper discusses the potential for advancing established research agendas in accounting history and identifies some new subjects for investigation by accounting historians. Originality/value – It is suggested that, while methodological innovation and plurality are to be applauded, the sustained application of new approaches should also receive greater encouragement. Searches for rapprochement in accounting history debate run the risk of stultifying historical controversy. It is argued that histories of management accounting, gender, class, professionalisation are far from “complete” and should be reignited through the adoption of broader theoretical, temporal and spatial parameters. An emphasis on the performative aspects of accounting in socio-cultural histories is encouraged, as is clearer recognition of the significance of contemporary understandings of the boundaries of accounting. Also emphasised is the desirability of more indigenously sensitised histories of the profession, greater engagement with the “literary turn”, and a renewed commitment to interdisciplinarity.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 296-322

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:21:y:2008:i:2:p:296-322

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    Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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    Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/aaaj.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Accounting history; Research work;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Maria Cadiz Dyball & Wai Fong Chua & Chris Poullaos, 2006. "Mediating between colonizer and colonized in the American empire: Accounting for government moneys in the Philippines," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(6), pages 47-81, November.
    2. James Guthrie & Lee Parker, 2006. "Editorial: The coming out of accounting research specialisms," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(6), pages 5-16, November.
    3. Cooper, David J. & Robson, Keith, 2006. "Accounting, professions and regulation: Locating the sites of professionalization," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 415-444.
    4. Maria Cadiz Dyball & Wai Fong Chua & Chris Poullaos, 2006. "Mediating between colonizer and colonized in the American empire: Accounting for government moneys in the Philippines," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 47-81, January.
    5. Salvador Carmona & Luca Zan, 2002. "Special Section: Mapping variety in the history of accounting and management practices," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(2), pages 291-304.
    6. Salvador Carmona & Mahmoud Ezzamel, 2007. "Accounting and accountability in ancient civilizations: Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(1), pages 177-209, January.
    7. Garry D. Carnegie & Stephen P. Walker, 2007. "Household accounting in Australia: a microhistorical study," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 210-236, February.
    8. Walker, S. P., 1998. "How to secure your husband's esteem. Accounting and private patriarchy in the British middle class household during the nineteenth century," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 485-514.
    9. Napier, Christopher J., 2006. "Accounts of change: 30 years of historical accounting research," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(4-5), pages 445-507.
    10. Monir Zaman Mir & Abu Shiraz Rahaman, 2007. "Accounting and public sector reforms: A study of a continuously evolving governmental agency in Australia," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 237-268, February.
    11. James Guthrie & Lee Parker, 2006. "Editorial: The coming out of accounting research specialisms," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(1), pages 5-16, January.
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    Cited by:
    1. John R. Edwards & Malcolm Anderson, 2011. "Writing masters and accountants in England: A study of occupation, status and ambition in the early modern period," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(6), pages 685-717, August.
    2. Markus Milne & James Guthrie & Lee Parker, 2008. "Into the light and engagement: Two decades of interdisciplinary perspectives on accounting, auditing and accountability research," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 117-128, February.
    3. Hernández Esteve, Esteban, 2008. "Some reflections on the orientations and volume of accounting history research in the 21st century," 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 9, pages 97-135, December.
    4. Garry D. Carnegie & Christopher J. Napier, 2012. "Accounting's past, present and future: the unifying power of history," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 328-369, February.

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