This paper examines the role of accounting in facilitating and legitimating the conglomerate movement in American business during the 1960s. We argue that the profileration of conglomerate mergers contributed to a reconceptualization of the corporation that emphasized its financial rather than its productive capacities. This conception of the firm has now been institutionalized; its logic motivates the takeovers and restructuring that characterize contemporary business. Our case illustrates the rhetorical power of accounting as a symbolic system for legitimating new corporate forms and practices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Information Systems and Management