Utilizing archival materials, this paper examines the case of the Genoa-based firm, Ansaldo, which, by the early decades of the 20th century, had emerged as a major force in the inter-related fields of engineering, shipbuilding, and metal and steel manufacture in Italy. Following financial problems immediately after World War I and during the 1920s, the company was subsequently taken under the umbrella of the Italian State's financial holding unit, the Institute for Industrial Reconstruction (IRI), in the 1930s. Utilizing Lewin's theory of change as a framework for investigating change in management accounting, the paper examines the internal and external factors influencing the development of cost/management accounting at the company. These are also examined against the background of the development of scientific management, both in Italy and elsewhere.

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