ERIC Number: ED305058
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Oct-31
Reference Count: N/A
Technological Choice in Voluntary Standards Committees: An Empirical Analysis.
Weiss, Martin B. H.; Sirbu, Marvin
Vendors frequently compete to have their technology adopted as part of a voluntary consensus standard, and this paper reports the results of an empirical study of the factors that influence the choice of technologies by voluntary technical standards committees. Participation in standards committees is viewed as an aspect of the product development process of corporations involved in markets where network externalities are present. The factors hypothesized to affect the technology decision are: (1) the market power of the coalition sponsoring the technology; (2) the size of the firms that make up the coalition; (3) the promotional activities of the sponsors (such as technical contributions submitted); (4) the perceived superiority of the technology; (5) the political skills of the coalition; and (6) the installed base of the products containing the technology. These hypotheses were tested by collecting data on specific technical decisions that were made in several standards committees in the area of computer communications hardware. Logit regression was used to infer the importance of each factor in the adoption or non-adoption of the technology. The results suggest that the size of the firms in the coalition supporting the technology and the extent to which they support their positions through written contributions are significant determinants of technological choice in the standards decisions studied, although the market share of these firms was found to be only marginally significant. The proponents of both the adopted and non-adopted technologies were found to have equal belief in the technical superiority of their technical alternative, even after the decision. The installed base of a technology and the process skills of the sponsors were not found to be significant predictors of the committee outcome. The text is supplemented by three tables, and 28 references are provided. (Author/EW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (16th, Arlie, VA, October 30-November 1, 1988). For other papers of this conference, see IR 013 715-735.