The relationship between standardization and innovative activity: An exploratory study on Korean service firms

The paper analyzes the effects of standards and standardization on innovative activities in Korean service firms. R&D intensity and patent application are used as proxies for innovative activity. The variables of standardization activity are standardization management at the firm level, domestic standardization activity, international standardization activity, and accreditation. The logistic regression model is constructed using data from 102 service firms in Korea.

The empirical findings are as follows: First, standardization management, domestic standardization, and international standardization have no influence on both R&D intensity and patent application. This seems to be due to the characteristics of the service firms, which do not perform standardization activities in the R&D stage. Second, standardization management has a negative influence on patent application, because there is a competitive relationship between standardization and patent application, which is also observed in the manufacturing firms. Third, while acquisition of accreditation activity has a negative effect on a firm's R&D intensity, it has a positive effect on a firm's patent application. In short, for Korean service firms, standardization activity is not related with its innovation activities, which include R&D investment and patent application. Only the acquisition of accreditation activity has an influence on innovative activities. The activity is related with the mid or final stages of technological innovation such as patent, rather than the initial stages, product planning, or R&D. Therefore, the Korean government and firms should try to connect standardization activity with all the stages of business innovation, from R&D to marketing.


URL (Taylor Francis Online)


Accreditation, Innovative activity, Service firms, Standardization

Additional information:

AuthorsSung, Tae-Kyung (School of Management, Jeonju University, Rep. of Korea)
Publisher:Routledge - Taylor & Francis Group
Keywords:Accreditation, Innovative activity, Service firms, Standardization
Last update:2008