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Attributes and Dynamic Development Phases of ICT Standards Consortia

Pohlmann, Tim (2010): Attributes and Dynamic Development Phases of ICT Standards Consortia.

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Standards consortia are private industry alliances that serve a certain purpose and gather likeminded companies that share the same interest to sponsor and develop technologies for standardization. Compared to formal standard setting, participation in consortia is less bureaucratic, more efficient in reacting to market needs and allows, in respect to the tiered membership structures, a strategic influence of standard setting outcomes. Formal standardization is in contrast an often protracted process of development and negotiation. This paper tries to provide a broad and comprehensive picture of standards consortia and their dynamic development in the past ten years. Analyses show that consortia have distinct characteristics which help to explain and justify their presence in the standard setting context. The observation of consortia existence over time identifies relationships between the formation, termination and merger of consortia with respect to market and technology development. Furthermore the paper seeks to measure consortia performance with respect to organizational structures and market position. Therefore we test the likelihood of consortia termination. Results of a survival analysis reveal that the probability of consortia success is especially connected to structures that determine coordination among members. Additionally the scope and focus on technology and markets also influences if consortia remain in business over time.

influence from participating firms. These main insights justify a distinct research on the role of informal standard setting in the ICT industry.

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