The Enlightenment brought a new mercantilist discourse that stimulated new technologies of management to optimise company performance, rendering workers and production phases visible and accountable. This spread to the colonies, including Ecuador. This article uses a governmentality framework to present a case study of the Hacienda of San Ildefonso (in present-day Ecuador). Within the Hacienda, an obraje (textile workshop) was established for textile manufacturing, replacing the previous putting-out system. The obraje was based on division of labour (skilled and unskilled) involving vertical integration of the business in a proto-capitalist model. The integration of these functions within the Hacienda required the adoption of new practices of accounting to obtain more accurate control of production and workers and facilitate control at a distance. This article contributes to the literature on accounting by examining the emergence of these new practices in a unique production system developed across all Spanish America from the beginnings of its colonisation.
|Number of pages||32|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 15 Aug 2022|
- accounting and accountability
- eighteenth century