Setting the Stage for Innovation: Balancing Diverse Interests Through Standardisation
Actors who are involved in innovation face a large, diverse range of – often conflicting – interests from stakeholders in many areas of business and society. Innovations can only succeed if they are aligned with societal demands and supported by a range of factors, such as regulation and technical infrastructures.
Through three studies, this dissertation shows how standardisation helps balance these interests and create foundations for new technologies. The results reveal (1) how standards emerge in highly complex and dynamic processes which may simultaneously rely on coordination in markets, committees, and/or governments to shape emerging technologies. They show (2) a range of strategic options for influencing these processes’ outcomes, which are available to companies and other actors. This dissertation also shows (3) how these options can be integrated into managing technology development at the company- and industry levels. Doing so helps ensure that innovations, standards, and regulation are aligned, thus supporting a technology’s market introduction. Finally, the dissertation (4) identifies specific strategies that companies follow with regards to the choice of forum where they engage in standardisation, revealing different priorities in firms’ activities.
Altogether, this dissertation shows standardisation to be key to achieving the balance of interests that is required for innovations to prosper. Standardisation allows companies and other actors to establish an equilibrium of interests that sets that stage for innovation.