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Concepts of time in accounting and management historiography have only previously been considered as partial subsets of other methodological issues. This paper investigates our concepts of historical time with a view to offering alternative foundations to the unidirectional linear concept of chronological time employed in historical research project design and execution. Its analytical approach is pluralist in that it draws upon the historiographic writings of historians and historical theorists of traditional and post-modern persuasions, both within and beyond the accounting and management history fields. It addresses teleological, historicist and narratives temporal underpinnings and considers historical practice in relation to assumptions about and interpretations of continuity and discontinuity. Time is extended beyond its conventional accounting and management chronology to include consideration of co-present, cyclical, relativist, structuralist and spatial time. Intrinsic and reflexive relationships between past, present and future are explored. The paper argues for a postmodern pluralisation of our historiographic approaches to time and their informing revisitations of historical accounting and management subjects with a view to better understanding that which we thought we already knew.

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This page is a summary of: ‘Presenting’ the past: perspectives on time for accounting and management history, Accounting Business & Financial History, March 2004, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/0958520042000176902.
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