Challenges for Formal Standardization: The Industrial Reforms of 2008-2010 Reconsidered

Challenges for Formal Standardization: The Industrial Reforms of 2008-2010 Reconsidered

Ulrich Blum (Halle Institute for Economic Research, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-561-0.ch001

Abstract

This study considers the developments in international standardization over the last 20 years, particularly the status of formal standardization as compared with consortium-based industrial standardization. The report shows that the radical reform of the global formal standardization system that started in 2008, prompted by the loss of interest in formal standardization on the part of large corporations and the sometimes less than satisfactory outcomes from consortium-based industrial standardization in terms of competition and antitrust considerations, has helped to compensate for the declining significance of national formal standardization. This specifically relates to national governments and is to be regarded as a clearly positive development from both the economic and the institutional and political points of view. Global public interests are now catered for by Internet-supported information markets. In particular, online documentation has also enhanced the transparency of the formal standardization process and provided freedom of access for small and medium-sized companies in particular, irrespective of geographical region. Finally, the study shows that the debate that took place in and around the year 2004 between Europe and the USA regarding the path toward the internationalization of formal standardization processes was superfluous, incomplete, and even counterproductive, owing to the hardening of the political divisions between the two sides.

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