How stakeholders assess the impacts of ICT Standards

Assessing the impacts of standards is a challenging task. A survey instrument was developed aiming at assessing standards impacts from the point of view of stakeholders in the standard development process. The survey was administered to members of ETSI (European Telecommunication Standards Institute), ITU (International Telecommunication Union) and CEN/ISSS (European Committee for Standardisation/Information Society Standardisation System) standards committees. Many of the findings either countered the predictions of much current theory or otherwise raised new grounds to question many common assumptions about the impacts of standards. Although many variations were found according to whether the standards were formal, informal or proprietary, several strong general findings emerged also. Overall, the findings indicate that cost-related impacts are less relevant to stakeholders than various market shaping aspects. Stakeholders perceived the main positive impacts in terms of the ability to increase product variety and to develop new global outsourcing opportunities. Finally, the impacts of formal standards were rated significantly higher and more positively than the other types of standards. It was concluded that the changes in the institutional landscape of standardisation in the ICT sector represent a challenge both for the theory of standardisation and for the development of adequate methodologies to assess their impacts.


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Consortia standards, Impact dimensions, Information and communication technology, Proprietary standards

Additional information:

AuthorsBlind, Knut (Berlin University of Technology, Fraunhofer Instute for Systems and Innovation Research, and Rotterdam School of Management), Gauch, Stephen (Berlin University of Technology), Hawkins, Richard (University of Calgary)
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords:Consortia standards, Impact dimensions, Information and communication technology, Proprietary standards
Last update:2009