The Boundary Problem in Critical Accounting Discourse: Revisiting the 1912 Bread and Roses Textile Strike

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Moore, Louella
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
August 2019
Alternative Title
The paper begins by reviewing literature that explains why movements labelled as 'socialist' have historically gained little traction in the U.S. This is followed by a consideration of institutional processes that create little incentive for genuine communicative action between research programs built on individualist vs. collectivist points of view. Dominant accounting conceptual frameworks treat entity boundaries as 'self-evident' while ideal types are used in accounting and economic theory to portray management and labor interests as separate and distinct. Arguing that conceptual boundaries are far from 'self-evident' and worker/management interests are inte1twined, the paper posits appropriation and protection as the two fundamental psychological motivations for the establishment of boundaries. A case study of a two month long textile mill strike in a 1912 New England setting is used to demonstrate the dynamic nature of boundary issues in the political economy.