IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/aosoci/v34y2009i8p939-956.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

Author

Listed:
  • Richardson, Alan J.
  • Kilfoyle, Eksa

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richardson, Alan J. & Kilfoyle, Eksa, 2009. "Accounting in markets, hierarchies and networks: The role of accounting in the transnational governance of postal transactions," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 939-956, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:8:p:939-956
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0361-3682(09)00040-3
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cooper, Robin & Slagmulder, Regine, 2004. "Interorganizational cost management and relational context," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-26, January.
    2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1988. "Transactions Costs and Internal Labor Markets," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 49-64, Spring.
    3. 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.
    4. Keohane, Robert O., 1982. "The demand for international regimes," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 325-355, March.
    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. 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 233-261, October.
    7. Hakansson, Hakan & Lind, Johnny, 2004. "Accounting and network coordination," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 51-72, January.
    8. 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.
    9. Coase, R H, 1974. "The Lighthouse in Economics," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(2), pages 357-376, October.
    10. 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 335-361, October.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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 306-342, April.
    14. 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.
    15. repec:mes:jeciss:v:30:y:1996:i:4:p:1212-1216 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. 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.
    17. Johnson, H. Thomas, 1975. "Management Accounting in an Early Integrated Industrial: E. I. duPont de Nemours Powder Company, 1903-1912," Business History Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(02), pages 184-204, June.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Helen Irvine, 2011. "From go to woe: How a not-for-profit managed the change to accrual accounting," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(7), pages 824-847, September.
    2. Richardson, Alan J. & Kilfoyle, Eksa, 2016. "Accounting institutions as truce: The emergence of accounting in the governance of transnational mail flows," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 32-47.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/aos .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.