IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Accounting in markets, hierarchies and networks: The role of accounting in the transnational governance of postal transactions

  • Richardson, Alan J.
  • Kilfoyle, Eksa
Registered author(s):

    We examine the changing role of accounting in the development of the international postal system between 1840 and the emergence of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) in 1875. We use the distinction between mundane and opportunistic transaction costs to explain why accounting disappeared as a coordinating mechanism as postal transactions migrated from spot market exchanges, through bilateral contracts (treaties) between nations, into a network of domestic post offices coordinated by the UPU. Our analysis refines the application of transaction cost economics to the understanding of the role of management accounting in different governance mechanisms.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VCK-4W9S2PM-1/2/25fc0eb5b1d41836b77a9c9e999afd57
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Accounting, Organizations and Society.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 8 (November)
    Pages: 939-956

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:8:p:939-956
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Klaes, Matthias, 2000. "The History of the Concept of Transaction Costs: Neglected Aspects," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 191-216, June.
    2. Mark Granovetter, 2005. "The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 33-50, Winter.
    3. Sherwin Rosen, 1987. "Transactions Costs and Internal Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 2407, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hakansson, Hakan & Lind, Johnny, 2004. "Accounting and network coordination," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 51-72, January.
    5. Mouritsen, Jan & Thrane, Sof, 2006. "Accounting, network complementarities and the development of inter-organisational relations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 241-275, April.
    6. Coase, R H, 2000. "The Acquisition of Fisher Body by General Motors," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 15-31, April.
    7. Carliss Y. Baldwin, 2008. "Where do transactions come from? Modularity, transactions, and the boundaries of firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 155-195, February.
    8. Shannon W. Anderson & Henri C. Dekker, 2005. "Management Control for Market Transactions: The Relation Between Transaction Characteristics, Incomplete Contract Design, and Subsequent Performance," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(12), pages 1734-1752, December.
    9. Keohane, Robert O., 1982. "The demand for international regimes," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 325-355, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Spekle, Roland F., 2001. "Explaining management control structure variety: a transaction cost economics perspective," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 26(4-5), pages 419-441.
    12. Williamson, Oliver E, 1979. "Transaction-Cost Economics: The Governance of Contractural Relations," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 233-61, October.
    13. Tiessen, P. & Waterhouse, J. H., 1983. "Towards a descriptive theory of management accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 8(2-3), pages 251-267, May.
    14. Shelanski, Howard A & Klein, Peter G, 1995. "Empirical Research in Transaction Cost Economics: A Review and Assessment," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 335-61, October.
    15. David Emanuel & Jilnaught Wong & Norman Wong, 2003. "Efficient contracting and accounting," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 43(2), pages 149-166.
    16. Williamson, Oliver E, 1999. "Public and Private Bureaucracies: A Transaction Cost Economics Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 306-42, April.
    17. Cooper, Robin & Slagmulder, Regine, 2004. "Interorganizational cost management and relational context," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-26, January.
    18. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-76, October.
    19. Hopwood, Anthony G., 1996. "Looking across rather than up and down: On the need to explore the lateral processing of information," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 589-590, August.
    20. Coase, Ronald H., 1990. "Accounting and the theory of the firm," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 3-13, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:8:p:939-956. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.