Accounting as a legitimising device in voluntary price agreements: the Dundee jute industry, 1945–1960

S. Masrani, Peter Mckiernan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    6 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Using archival and interview data, this paper uses institutional theory (INT) to analyze the role that accounting played in the operation of voluntary price agreements in the Dundee jute industry (DJI) during the sector's decline from 1945 to 1960. At its peak in the late 19th century, the industry employed almost 50% of the Dundee labour force and its output was critical to the UK's war effort. Hence, once decline set in, serious efforts were made to protect it from foreign competition. The DJI was highly fragmented, with some firms happy to comply and others in a state of defiance. The role of accounting helped to provide legitimacy and attract compliance, while the isomorphic forces (normative, coercive and mimicry) played key roles individually and together in binding together a set of voluntary price agreements. Key influencers in the DJI exerted agency to reinforce these efforts. These agreements proved more successful than other ‘shelter’ strategy schemes in other UK sectors in decline, e.g., cotton, in buying time for firms to diversify.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages415–433
    Number of pages19
    JournalCritical Perspectives On Accounting
    Volume22
    Issue number4
    Early online date9 Feb 2011
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011

    Fingerprint

    industry
    firm
    labor force
    agricultural product
    legitimacy
    Industry
    Jute
    interview
    time
    Legitimacy
    Institutional theory
    Foreign competition
    Labor force
    Cotton

    Keywords

    • Dundee jute industry
    • board of trade
    • jute control
    • collective strategy
    • industrial decline

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Using archival and interview data, this paper uses institutional theory (INT) to analyze the role that accounting played in the operation of voluntary price agreements in the Dundee jute industry (DJI) during the sector's decline from 1945 to 1960. At its peak in the late 19th century, the industry employed almost 50{\%} of the Dundee labour force and its output was critical to the UK's war effort. Hence, once decline set in, serious efforts were made to protect it from foreign competition. The DJI was highly fragmented, with some firms happy to comply and others in a state of defiance. The role of accounting helped to provide legitimacy and attract compliance, while the isomorphic forces (normative, coercive and mimicry) played key roles individually and together in binding together a set of voluntary price agreements. Key influencers in the DJI exerted agency to reinforce these efforts. These agreements proved more successful than other ‘shelter’ strategy schemes in other UK sectors in decline, e.g., cotton, in buying time for firms to diversify.",
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    Accounting as a legitimising device in voluntary price agreements : the Dundee jute industry, 1945–1960. / Masrani, S.; Mckiernan, Peter.

    In: Critical Perspectives On Accounting, Vol. 22, No. 4, 04.2011, p. 415–433.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AB - Using archival and interview data, this paper uses institutional theory (INT) to analyze the role that accounting played in the operation of voluntary price agreements in the Dundee jute industry (DJI) during the sector's decline from 1945 to 1960. At its peak in the late 19th century, the industry employed almost 50% of the Dundee labour force and its output was critical to the UK's war effort. Hence, once decline set in, serious efforts were made to protect it from foreign competition. The DJI was highly fragmented, with some firms happy to comply and others in a state of defiance. The role of accounting helped to provide legitimacy and attract compliance, while the isomorphic forces (normative, coercive and mimicry) played key roles individually and together in binding together a set of voluntary price agreements. Key influencers in the DJI exerted agency to reinforce these efforts. These agreements proved more successful than other ‘shelter’ strategy schemes in other UK sectors in decline, e.g., cotton, in buying time for firms to diversify.

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