On the italian debate concerning “Economia Aziendale”. The recent discovery of a manuscript by Emilio Ravenna (1930)

Massimo Costa


The paper relies upon the recent discovery of the textbook of Accounting adopted in Palermo’s High Business School (the ‘ancestor’ of the Faculty of ‘Economics & Business’, founded after in 1936), just in its first years of opening (academic year 1930-31). It is a printed manuscript. This book was written by the local professor of Accounting, Emilio Ravenna, who operated in Sicily between the last decades of XIX century and the first
ones of XX one, commonly considered (Guzzo, 2003) an intermediate scholar between the ‘Venetian’ (Besta) and ‘Tuscan’ (Cerboni) Italian Schools, adhering to the former for the accounting method and to the latter for the general theory of administrative functions, but here revealing more as belonging to the latter. The book is placed within a period of strong debate for the Italian community, after Zappa’s manifesto for the new science of “Economia
aziendale”, and also includes a full conception of Accounting as an open criticism to “Economia aziendale”. The interest for this discovery is due to the explicit answer to the defy launched at ‘Ca’ Foscari’ (University of Venice) by Gino Zappa. But the most relevant issue is that this answer does not come from the main ‘Venetian School’ of Besta disciples, then dominating in Italy, but from a true ‘survivor’ of the older ‘Tuscan School’, strictly follower of Giovanni Rossi work, and in those times already declined. It is noteworthy the fact Ravenna generally agrees with Zappa, confuting, however, only that his conceptions would be really new. The following paper, then, presenting the basic contents of the aforementioned book, with a peculiar stress on the doctrinal items concerning Accounting and “Economia aziendale”, reveals a continuity, perhaps overestimated by Ravenna,
between the late XIX-century ‘Scientific Accounting’ by Cerboni and the early XX-century “Economia aziendale” by Zappa.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26784/issn.1886-1881.v13i25.255

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Copyright (c) 2016 Massimo Costa

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Electronic ISSN:1886-1881

Índices y Bases de Datos: Emerging Sources Citation Index 2015 Web of Science (Clarivate Analytics) Google Académico, MIARDIALNETREDIBEC3LATINDEX (Catálogo 2.0)ULRICHSERIH PLUSBusiness Source Complete (EBSCOhost) e IN-RECS (hasta 2009).

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