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Early cost management practices, state ownership and market competition: the case of the Royal Textile Mill of Guadalajara, 1717-44


  • Eva Carmona
  • Donato Gomez


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Carmona & Donato Gomez, 2002. "Early cost management practices, state ownership and market competition: the case of the Royal Textile Mill of Guadalajara, 1717-44," Accounting History Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 231-251.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:acbsfi:v:12:y:2002:i:2:p:231-251
    DOI: 10.1080/09585200210134938

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Carmona, Salvador & Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Gutierrez, Fernando, 2002. "The relationship between accounting and spatial practices in the factory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 239-274, April.
    3. Carmona, Salvador & Ezzamel, Mahmoud & Gutierrez, Fernando, 1997. "Control and cost accounting practices in the Spanish Royal Tobacco Factory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 411-446, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. López Manjón, Jesús Damián & Gutiérrez Hidalgo, Fernando, 2006. "Asignación de gastos e ingresos como mecanismo de arbitraje: el caso del Colegio-Universidad de Osuna (1796-1800). (Allocation of expenses and income as a arbitration mechanism: the case of the Colleg," 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 5, pages 147-165, December.


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