Exploring necessary conditions for standard success for complex systems

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Many markets are characterized by increasing returns to adoption and, often, in such markets standards battles are fought (Suarez, 2004; Schilling 1998; Van de Kaa 2011). Literature on standards selection predominantly focuses on standards that are part of a new single product or system, such as the internet or a telecommunications network (Bekkers 2002; Funk 2002). In this paper we explore factors for standard dominance for systems that connect multiple already existing subsystems and new subsystems to form a new system. We conduct an analysis of six standards battles for complex systems that have been reported in the literature and find three necessary conditions for standard success for complex systems; technological superiority, network diversity and stakeholder commitment. We contribute to the ongoing research on standards battles by studying success factors for standards for complex systems. Practitioners that are involved in developing standards for such systems can utilize the results from this research in their strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 27th International Conference on Management of Technology
Subtitle of host publicationTowards sustainable technologies and innovation
PublisherInternational Association for Management of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event27th international conference on management of technology: Towards sustainable technologies and innovation - Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Apr 201826 Apr 2018
Conference number: 27


Conference27th international conference on management of technology
Abbreviated titleIAMOT 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • standards battles
  • case studies
  • dominant designs
  • complex systems


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