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Publication Date

2000

Abstract

This paper examines the social relations of the founders of the first institutions of modern public accountancy in Scotland. The study uses archival data to construct social networks prior to 1854. Individual founders in the networks are identified as potentially significant sources of influence in the foundation events. The paper reports the social network analysis in several parts. First, relations between the founders of The Institute of Accountants in Edinburgh (IAE), renamed The Society of Accountants in Edinburgh (SAE), are networked. Second, a similar analysis is made of the foundation of The Institute of Accountants and Actuaries in Glasgow (IAAG). Third, social links between individual founders of the IAE/SAE and IAAG are identified. The research results are generally consistent with prior studies but reveal significant matters not identified by other researchers. The social network analysis of the IAE/SAE founders confirms the existence of a cohesive and elite community and the presence of an elite within an elite. There is evidence of strong links to lawyers and landowners, as well as significant links to the insurance industry.

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