The standardisation of interfaces in product architectures helps complementary products develop when network externalities are present. However, standardisation may also weaken a technology developer's competitive position when the product knowledge embedded in standardised interfaces becomes accessible, thereby reducing the barriers to entry. Hence, there is a need to simultaneously protect the knowledge that underpins a firm's competitiveness, but also to define the standards that are open to encourage the development of complementary products. In this paper, we analyse different types and levels of knowledge that underpin a product. We apply this analysis to understanding how Nokia and Ericsson maintained their competitive positions during the Global System for Mobile (GSM)-dominated phase of the industry, even though they were instrumental in developing GSM as an entirely open standard.
Cell phones, GSM, Information structures, Innovation, Knowledge management, Knowledge protection, Mobile phones, Modularity, Standardisation, Standards
|Authors||Galvin, Peter (The University of Adelaide Business School, Australia)|
|Keywords:||Cell phones, GSM, Information structures, Innovation, Knowledge management, Knowledge protection, Mobile phones, Modularity, Standardisation, Standards|