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To Participate Or Not To Participate: An Investigation Of Strategic Participation In Standards

by   Paras Bhatt, et al.

Essential functionality in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) space draws from standards such as HTTP (IETF RFC 2616, Bluetooth (IEEE 802.15) and various telecommunication standards (4G, 5G). They have fuelled rapid growth of ICT sector in the last decades by ensuring interoperability and consistency in computing environment. Research shows that firms that backed ICT standards and participated in standards development, have emerged as industry innovators. Standards development thus clearly has benefits for participating companies as well as technology development and innovation in general. However, significant costs are also associated with development of standards and need to be better understood to support investment in standardization necessary for todays ICT environment. We present a conceptual model that considers the potential for market innovation across a standards lifecycle and efficiency from standardization work, to build a forward-looking decision model that can guide an organizations standards development activities. We investigate and formalize motivations that drive firms to participate in standardization, specifically, changes in market innovation. Our model can serve as a strategic decision framework to drive assessments of a firms participation in standards development. We test our model with a use case on an established access control approach that was standardized more than two decades ago, Role Based Access Control (RBAC) using historical data. The investigation of the case study shows that change in market innovation is a significant indicator of success in standards development and are viable criteria to model a firms decision to participate (or not to participate) in a specific area of standardization.


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