Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Reconstructing Corporate Business History using Accounting Data

Mallick, Indrajit (2010): Reconstructing Corporate Business History using Accounting Data. Published in: Occasional Paper Centre for Studies in Social Sciences No. 177

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Abstract

This paper attempts to outline a methodology for reconstructing the history of big enterprise. The problem is to construct an institutional narrative that captures the essential dynamics of corporate institution creation, institutional change, development into a large corporation and its maturity. It is argued that accounting data can be one of the most important inputs in this regard. However, accounting data is necessary but not sufficient for a complete account of the history of a large corporate enterprise. Similarly, other sources of information are necessary but not sufficient for the above purpose without accounting data. This paper focuses on the use of accounting data for reconstructing corporate history and also addresses partially how such data can be combined with other sources of information to provide a complete story. We delve briefly into the nature of accounting data and the structure of accounting record keeping. Reconstructing corporate history involves asking appropriate questions on financial structure, capital budgeting and investments, operations and strategy that accounting data reveal.

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