The Work of an International Standardization Consortia: Paths Towards its Current Structure

The Work of an International Standardization Consortia: Paths Towards its Current Structure

Endre Grotnes (University of Oslo, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/jitsr.2009010104
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Abstract

This article gives an account of the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), a standardization consortium. OMA incorporates actors both from the telecommunication and IT sector. The two sectors have different standardization traditions. OMA could have chosen a multitude of setups and work procedures, but ended up with a traditional organization with technical plenary and work groups, and a consensus oriented work style. Why did OMA chose to organize itself this way? The article argues that this is due to the legacy of the organization and its members, the interconnectedness and systemic nature of the infrastructure, and the overall structure and spirit of the telecommunication field. The article also argues that the whish for legitimacy steers the organization towards its current structure, and alternative organizational forms that are less open and inclusive could create IPR licensing problems, and reduce the perceived legitimacy of the OMA standards.

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