Title: Rethinking the relationship of accounting to labour and capital

Authors: Yoshiaki Jinnai

Addresses: Faculty of Business Administration, Tokyo Keizai University, 1-7-34, Minamicho, Kokubunji, Tokyo, 185-8502, Japan

Abstract: This paper introduces and appraises two new interpretations of accounting: accounting as a |labour process| and accounting as the |self-consciousness of capital|. These interpretations of accounting were presented by T. Miyosawa and A. Tanaka respectively in their attempts to bridge the gap in the recognition of the nature of accounting between the two main types of Japanese critical accounting theories: the |capital movement approach| and the |socio-political superstructure approach|. These interpretations are mainly based on the theory of labour and capital by K. Marx who regards the capitalist production as a unity of the labour process and the process of creating value, and capital as an organism that develops as if it were a natural living system. By applying these new interpretations, accounting can be regarded as an indispensable component of the living system, that is, not an external but an internal existence to the system. This way of thinking leads accounting researches to an effective analysis not only in financial accounting but also in management accounting: an analysis of the relationship between the function of accounting information and the efficiency and profitability of a production system such as the Toyota Production System.

Keywords: labour process; self-consciousness; capital; organism; dialectics; capitalist accounting; capital movement approach; socio-political superstructure approach; Marx; Toyota Production System; TPS; critical accounting; Japan.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEA.2011.044384

International Journal of Economics and Accounting, 2011 Vol.2 No.4, pp.373 - 386

Published online: 22 Dec 2011 *

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