Classical, Stewardship, and Market Perspectives on Accounting: A Synthesis

Posted: 21 Jul 2001

See all articles by Shyam Sunder

Shyam Sunder

Yale University - School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation


Business organizations can be classified into three broad categories: entrepreneurial organizations without management hierarchy, entrepreneurial organizations with managerial hierarchy, and large publicly-held corporations. The key difference between the first two is the presence of agency problem, and the key difference between the last two is the presence of stock markets. Three major models of accounting, bookkeeping, managerial and financial reporting, have been engineered to suit the respective needs of the three forms of organizations. Using the work of Hatfield (1924), Barnard (1938), Simon (1947, 1952), and Cyert and March (1963), the paper explores the links between organization theory and classical bookkeeping, stewardship and capital markets perspectives on accounting.

Keywords: Accounting; Bookkeeping; Stewardship; Stock markets; Organization design

JEL Classification: D20, D23, L22, M40

Suggested Citation

Sunder, Shyam, Classical, Stewardship, and Market Perspectives on Accounting: A Synthesis. THE JAPANESE STYLE OF BUSINESS ACCOUNTING, Shyam Sunder, Hidetoshi Yamaji, eds.; Westport CT: Quorum Books, 1999, pp. 17-31. Available at SSRN:

Shyam Sunder (Contact Author)

Yale University - School of Management ( email )

165 Whitney Avenue
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States
203-432-6160 (Phone)


Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

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