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L’Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale: Un Percorso Lungo Oltre Due Secoli (1807-2023)

The Italian Academy of Business Economics is, due to its history, unique in its kind. With 2023, a full two hundred and ten years have passed since its formal establishment in 1813 under the name “Academy of Logismophiles,” and, throughout this extensive period, it has demonstrated its ability to adapt, renew, and most importantly, become central and decisive in its field of operation. Yet, much of the activity carried out over time by the association is unknown to many, as is its history which stretches over two centuries and in contexts that have profoundly changed. AIDEA has indeed participated, often as a leading player, in the progress of the profession and business disciplines, starting from when— at the beginning of the 19th century—there was only talk of accounting art and technique and mercantile practice. To shed light on all this, a periodization was chosen, that is, a division of the entire reference time span into well-defined and substantially homogeneous periods. Regarding this, six different periods have been identified. The first, which we have termed “of establishment and initial activity,” begins from the “artisanal” phase—which started in 1807 thanks to informal meetings of five young accountants from Bologna who began sharing information about their professional work and studies—and reaches up to 1828 after several years of stagnation in the association’s life. The second period, from 1828 to the annexation, which occurred in 1860, of the city of Bologna to the Kingdom of Sardinia, is characterized instead by the “refoundation” of the Academy as in 1828 it obtained legal recognition from the state (the Papal State) for the first time, even though in those years the existence of the association was particularly troubled due to the peculiar political events of that time. The third period, from 1860 to 1888, sees the affirmation of the association, which assumes national significance and establishes itself as the reference Academy for professionals and scholars of accounting. The fourth period, from 1888 to the outbreak of World War I, records a significant growth of the Academy, with real development in terms of operativity and also impact in its reference context. The fifth period, from 1915 to 1970, represents a particularly delicate phase of life, albeit not without importance, as the full maturity of the association was counterbalanced by a gradual decline of the same because, for various reasons, its activity was gradually losing vigor. The sixth period, from 1970 to the present day, is distinguished instead by a clear relaunch of the Academy’s operativity, thanks in particular to the fact that it has transformed from a predominantly professional association into a distinctly— if not almost exclusively— academic one. The name change to the Italian Academy of Business Economics in 1980 formally marks this process and at the same time guides all subsequent activity, which has experienced a significant increase both quantitatively and qualitatively in service to all business scholars. For the reconstruction of the long life path of the Academy, extensive use was made of primary sources, predominantly kept at the social headquarters. This has allowed for a fascinating as well as unexpected journey through time through the reading of “papers” that very often had never left the inside of their own folder and almost never crossed the doors from the AIDEA headquarters. It is a great satisfaction to be able to share, in many cases for the first time, with members and all those interested in the history of the association, not only the relevant contents but also the representation of the most important documents among the countless (including statutes, regulations, the “speeches” of the members, studies and insights, various publications, the minutes of the Executive Council, the minutes of the Assembly of Members, the minutes of the Commissions established for specific purposes) present in the archive of the Academy. To better understand the different “periods” and, within them, the succession of various events that have characterized the life of the Academy, each chapter begins with a description of the reference context in which it operated. Deepening our knowledge of our Academy and its activity not only makes us aware of our roots but—by giving us the opportunity to discover or rediscover who we are and where we come from—allows us to gain greater awareness of our history and, not insignificantly, of our current condition.


Massimo Sargiacomo e Stefano Coronella

Publisher: AIDEA
Year: 2023
ISBN: 987-88-6659-109-2

L’Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale
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