A Very Private Matter: anti-nepotism rules in accounting partnerships
Baskerville, Rachel F.
University of Exeter
The objective of this study is to review the manner in which oral histories address the ‘problem’ of memory, and to use an example from a 2002 oral history project concerning accounting partnerships in New Zealand to illustrate aspects of this problem. Many of the interviewees in 2002 recalled anti-nepotism clauses in accounting partnership deeds and acknowledged these clauses had been triggered by an event. There was a diversity of recollection as to the detail of this event, and various rationales, justifications, or explanations were provided. Together, these suggested anti-nepotism clauses retained considerable traction in partnership deeds without a shared understanding of their cause. This led to the question: why should the memory of a significant event be lacking when the consequences of the event remained structurally embedded? It is suggested that the traction of such anti-nepotism rules continue, because the underlying principle resonates with archetypal partnership codes.
Bi-annual conference of the National Oral History Association of New Zealand, (NOHANZ), 'Our City', Worcester Street, Christchurch, 1-3 July 2005