Title: How to lock-in workers and capital: the role of accounting in the era of a Swedish textile mill

Authors: Per Forsberg

Addresses: Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Box 513, S-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This article contributes with knowledge about accounting history in Sweden between 1834-1903. It is written from the perspective of new accounting history. As such, it focuses on how the socio-political-economic context affects accounting but also that accounting has important implications. The article focuses especially on what roles accounting played for the industrialisation in Sweden. The first mechanical weaving company in Sweden, the textile mill Rydboholm, is used as an example to illustrate how accounting developed and that accounting had important functions for solving certain problems that existed during the 19th century. The major problems that accounting helped to solve was problems as: lack of money and capital together with the establishments of credit- and production networks. Moreover, accounting did play a crucial role for the industrialisation in Sweden because it made possible to lock-in capital and workers in the company.

Keywords: accounting history; critical accounting; company towns; textile mills; Sweden; labour processes; paternalistic management; mechanical weaving; money shortage; capital shortage; credit networks; production networks; industrialisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2013.053351

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2013 Vol.5 No.1, pp.96 - 116

Published online: 17 Apr 2013 *

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