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Standard–setting processes: evidence from two case studies

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In many hi–tech sectors one of the most important dimensions of competition is standardisation. This is particularly true in modular markets (i.e. markets characterised by the existence of modular architectures) and in network markets (i.e. markets where users would like to buy products compatible with those bought by others). Different processes may lead to the standard–setting. Sometimes there are fierce standardisation wars whereas in other cases competitors are able to agree on a common standard before the introduction of the technology on the market. In this paper we endeavour to provide an interpretative framework of the standardisation process and validate such a framework through an in–depth analysis of two case studies in a typical network market (the multimedia sector): the case of the Modem 56k and the case of the Information Appliances–Enhanced TV.

The two case studies offer some evidence of the standardisation process and of the growing importance of super–partes organisations (Standard Development Organisations) in the mediation process between different interests and technologies to impose a common standard on the market.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Universit√† di Milano Bicocca 2: LIUC – Libero Istituto Universitario C. Cattaneo 3: Politecnico di Milano

Publication date: 2002-11-01

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