The book - Standardisation in Companies and Markets - is complete in its 3rd Edition. It has been extensively revised and contains an additional four study units. The book now has 23 study units in total and offers a comprehensive overview of the subject area - Standardisation in Companies and Markets.
The contents of the four new study units are as follows:
Challenges and Approaches of efficient Formal Standardisation
This teaching chapter deals with the discussion of efficiency in formal standardisation, which – due to the growing importance of standards for industry and the economy – is becoming increasingly highly charged. In order to answer the question as to how formal standardisation can be organised more efficiently, the chapter first presents the functions and essential features of formal standardisation before distinguishing them from standardisation by industrial consortia. On the one hand, the institutional framework of formal standardisation provides a guarantee of the benefits of standardisation in terms of welfare economics, but at the same time it also presents special challenges for efficiently coordinating the actors in standardisation. It is particularly the formal standards bodies with their demand-oriented services and resources, qualified personnel and suitable instruments of coordination who are called on to support the interested parties of standardisation in their work.
Tineke M. Egyedi and Richard Hawkins
Most lectures discuss the formal standards bodies. Standards consortia, on which this lecture focuses, are different. They play their own coordinative role in the market. They have, rightly or wrongly, been criticized for being undemocratic and praised for delivering quick results. Here, we address the ambiguities that surround consortia, their diversity and the reasons for their proliferation. We critically review the rhetoric about ‘consensus versus speed’ by comparing both consortia and formal standards bodies in terms of written standards procedures and real-life experiences. Consortia have strongly affected the formal standards system – but the reverse is also true. The lecture closes with a discussion about the future role of consortia in the current standardisation landscape.
Standardisation strategies of firms
Wilfried Hesser and Axel Czaya
This teaching chapter outlines the strategic and economic significance that standardisation has gained in many technologically advanced fields such as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), in particular, and the related high-growth markets. The issues addressed in this chapter include: strategic decisions by firms on compatibility and compatibility standards, strategic behaviour and related market outcomes in the presence of network effects, economic benefits of standardisation, the establishment/emergence of de facto standards, standards wars (such as the “Blu-ray vs HD-DVD” battle), lock-in effects, coordination issues and “bandwagons”, the impact of property rights issues on standardisation, and strategic behaviour in formal standardisation processes. Numerous illustrative examples and case studies are provided throughout the chapter.
ICT Standardisation – A Primer
This module provides a brief outline of the historical development of ICT standards. A general overview of the ICT standardisation environment and its actors then follows. The various types of actors are identified, as are the links that exist between them – or the lack thereof. A certain focus here is on the issue of cooperation vs competition, including the current state of the art, and a discussion on how this situation could be improved. The module subsequently goes on to discuss the characteristics of an ‚open standard‘. The final chapter provides more in-depth descriptions of some of the major organisations active in ICT standardisation.