Addressing a standards creation process: a focus on ebXML

Current trends in e-business are creating opportunities for the automation of business processes across business boundaries. However, lack of standards has caused difficulties for industry players in exploiting resources and coordinating activities in the context of e-business. ebXML - an emerging e-business standard framework to unite competing factions under a banner of international trade - has been developed within an industry consortium using an open, collaborative process with no barriers to entry, whose approach is very different from the traditional approach to creating standards. Drawing on a socio-technological perspective, this paper attempts to gain deeper understanding of such phenomenon by using a case study methodology. It uses data drawn mostly from email discussions and minutes of teleconferences and face-to-face meetings. Our exploration of the ebXML standardization process generates specific propositions. In summary, our analysis found that the 'openness' of the standardization process helps to create a more comprehensive standard than proprietary standards, effectively leading to convergence of technologies, and that the unfolding dynamics of the standardization process varies depending on the characteristics of standards to be developed. We also discuss user participation as an important factor that influences the dynamics of the standardization process in such an open, collaborative standardization process. Surprisingly, user participation seems to be more effective in creating technical infrastructure oriented standards rather than business process oriented standards.

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Keywords:

Industry consortium, Standardization process, Standards body, e-Business standards

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Language(s):English
AuthorsChoi, Beomjin (Dept of Management Information Science, College of Business Administration, California State University, USA), Raghu, T.S. (Dept of Management Information Science, College of Business Administration, California State University, USA), Vinze, Ajay (Dept of Information Systems, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, USA)
Publisher:Elsevier Ltd.
Keywords:Industry consortium, Standardization process, Standards body, e-Business standards
Last update:2004