Accounting as a Structuring Governance Mechanism:
The Case of the St. Anselm Foundry, 1910-1995
This paper seeks to contribute to the debate on how to conceptualise structure and agency in accounting through a longitudinal exploration of the financial statements of the St. Anselm Foundry over almost a century. We argue that linkages between the firm’s information production choices, its governance structure and the socio-economic context in which it operates are better explained as a function of different interacting structural conditions, as mediated through human agency, than with agency theory alone. This argument is consistent with a proposal by Kilfoyle and Richardson (2011), but our analysis expands the demonstration of such dualism from management accounting to financial accounting.
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