Early cost management practices, state ownership and market competition: the case of the Royal Textile Mill of Guadalajara, 1717-44
Existing literature on the deployment of cost techniques in early public sector organizations largely relies on archival evidence gathered from late eighteenth and nineteenth-century settings. Arguably, these contexts are characterized by a number of idiosyncratic characteristics that advise caution in generalizing conclusions beyond the institutional elements that forged those settings. Our investigation examines the case of the Royal Textile Mill of Guadalajara (RTM), a setting characterized by state ownership, competitive markets, organization of production around medieval guilds, and recruitment of foreign experts to conduct productive operations. Our findings show that the management of RTM deployed cost accounting techniques that comprised aspects such as control of raw materials and waste, control of labour and management, and allocations of overhead to product costing. We also find evidence which departs from predictions that standards relating to the control of raw materials should have preceded the implementation of labour cost standards.
Volume (Year): 12 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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