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'Accountable creatures': Scottish Presbyterianism, accountability and managerial capitalism

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alan McKinlay


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Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism remains a seminal text for social theory and economic and social history. Weber suggests a general relationship between religious belief and economic action. We argue that only by examining the practices of individuals and institutions can we adequately address Weber's question. Specifically, we re-examine the role of the confessional diary and Church governance practices as forms of accountability. Accountability practices were central to Scottish Presbyterian churches and made an important contribution to the development of managerial capitalism. This article is both a response to and a development of Sam McKinstry and Y.Y. Ding's micro-history of Charles Cowan and the business practices of his family's papermaking firm.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McKinlay A, Mutch A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Business History

Year: 2015

Volume: 57

Issue: 2

Pages: 241-256

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 27/02/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 0007-6791

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7938

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2014.956731


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