The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 16, No. 1 June 1989
Robert A. Seay MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY and
Roger C. Schoenfeldt MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY
H. K. HATHAWAY ON PRODUCT COSTING: RELEVANT ISSUES OF CONTEMPORARY CONCERN
Abstract: This article examines the importance of the treatment H. K. Hathaway gave to product costing issues in his depression-era writings. The paper compares Hathaway's approach to product costing with the contributions of Alexander Hamilton Church, H. Thomas Johnson, and Robert S. Kaplan. Some of Hathaway's product costing methods are improvements over those advanced by Church. Furthermore, Hathaway's proposals are relevant to con-temporary management accounting thought and practice.
The accounting and management literature contains abun-dant references to the contributions of Frederick Taylor and his "inner circle."Gantt's development of time-activity charts, Barth's slide rule invention and Cooke's application of scientific management in public utilities are examples of individual distinctions. Unfortunatley, the recognition earned by Taylor, Gantt, Barth, and Cooke overshadows the accomplishments of a relatively unknown member of the Taylor group, a member Taylor describes as "the best all-around man" in the scientific management movement [Drury, 1918].
Horace King Hathaway learned the Taylor system of scien-tific management while employed at Midvale Steel between 1896 and 1902. In 1905 Hathaway was hired by James Mapes Dodge to implement the Taylor system at the Link-Belt Com-pany. Later that same year Taylor recommended that Hathaway help Barth install the Taylor system at Tabor Manufacturing. Although Hathaway became the youngest member of the "inner
We wish to thank Professor Robert D. Hay at the University of Arkansas for his inspiration to initiate this research. In addition, we also thank the Commit-tee on Institutional Studies and Research at Murray State University for providing research funds. Finally, we express our appreciation to the following persons for providing helpful comments on various drafts of this paper: Gary Previts, Paula Thomas, Tommy Stambaugh, and several anonymous reviewers.