The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 17, No. 2 December 1990
PATTI A. MILLS, EDITOR Indiana State University
REVIEWS OF BOOKS AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Philip D. Bougen, Accounting and Industrial Relations: Some His-torical Evidence on Their Interaction (New York: Garland Publish-ing, Inc., 1988, 342 pp., $40)
Reviewed by Roxanne T. Johnson University of Baltimore
Philip Bougen has successfully described the complex interac-tion between an accounting system and the organizational compo-nents dependent on the information resulting from such a system. Bougen evaluates in exhaustive detail the interaction between an accounting system and the management and labor constituencies within the Hans Renold Company of Manchester, England, as re-flected in a profit sharing plan. In the process, Bougen has con-structed a complex picture of the interaction between company management, employee populations and the accounting numbers that were used to tie the two constituent groups together.
In the course of his research, Bougen wanted to consider:
(i) some of the factors which led to the emergence of ac-counting in the structure and practices of industrial relations in one particular company over a substan-tial period of time.
(ii) the roles accounting numbers and systems were called upon to play in the conduct of industrial reac-tions.
(iii) the consequences of the interweaving of accounting and industrial relations [p. 1].
Bougen's study explores these three themes by analyzing the complex environmental and institutional circumstances within which the Hans Renold Company attempted to introduce the profit sharing plan. Thus, he evaluates events internal to the firm within the context of the economic and societal conditions affect-ing the country as a whole. In the process, he accomplishes his goals and objectives quite effectively.