How stakeholders view the impacts of international ICT standards


Assessing the impacts of standards is a challenging task. Concerning ICT standards, mostly we have case studies of individual standards within specific impact dimensions rather than broader surveys of the impacts of standardization as a whole. Econometric studies also address mainly the network effects of individual ICT standards, whereas macro-economic analysis does not yet show the impacts of standards in specific industries. To bridge this gap, we developed a survey instrument aimed at assessing standard impacts from the point of view of stakeholders in the standards development process. We administered the survey to members of ETSI, ITU and CEN/ISSS standards committees. Many of our findings either countered the predictions of much current theory of otherwise raised new grounds to question many common assumptions about the economic and business impacts of standards. Although many variations were found according to whether the standards were formal, informal of proprietary, several strong general findings emerged also. Overall, we found that cost-related impacts (especially savings) 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 for R&D as well as production. We found also that the impacts of formal standards were rated significantly higher and more positively than the other types of standards. Consortia standards showed a rather similar pattern of impacts to formal standards, but ere associated by stakeholders with different roles in the market. Most of the impacts of proprietary standards were viewed negatively. We conclused 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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oai:fraunhofer.de:N-123324Last time updated on 11/15/2016

This paper was published in Fraunhofer-ePrints.

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