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The legitimizing power of financial statements in The Salvation Army in England, 1865 - 1892

Irvine, Helen J. (2002) The legitimizing power of financial statements in The Salvation Army in England, 1865 - 1892. Accounting Historians Journal, 29(1), pp. 1-36.

Abstract

Since its inception The Salvation Army has relied heavily on external funds to survive. There is evidence to suggest that at the time of its founding, in 19th century England, and in its early years, financial statements played a powerful legitimizing role. This was crucial to an organization like The Salvation Army, newly formed and in desperate need of funds. This view is consistent with institutional theory, which emphasizes the importance of such legitimacy. However, it challenges the notion, prevalent in academic literature on accounting in religious organizations, that there is a resistance to the use of accounting as a "secular" activity in an organization with a "sacred" mission. The societal context of the early Salvation Army, the unique characteristics of William Booth, its founder, and its struggle for survival in its early years, all demonstrate an emphasis on an image of financial responsibility, and a reliance on the Army’s audited financial statements to provide that image.

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ID Code: 13054
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: accounting history, financial reporting, Salvation Army, institutional theory
ISSN: 0148-4184
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY (210000) > HISTORICAL STUDIES (210300) > Historical Studies not elsewhere classified (210399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100) > Accounting Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified (150199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Academy of Accounting Historians
Deposited On: 19 Mar 2008
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 23:36

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