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Effects of standardization on the evolution of information and communications technology

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  • Lee, Won Sang
  • Sohn, So Young

Abstract

Many studies have suggested that standardization inhibits technological change via lock-in effects. However, the negative side of standardization has been overemphasized because of insufficient empirical evidence. On the basis of the standard and triadic patents registered during 1977–2010, this study examines the associations between standardization and technological evolution in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry. We apply the annual International Patent Classification co-occurrence network to Telecommunications, Computers & Machinery, Consumer electronics, and Other ICTs to measure technological evolution with respect to diversity, openness, and concentration. Consequently, we regressed each aspect of technological evolution against the polynomial distributed lag number of the registered ICT standards per annum. The findings suggest different degrees of associations between standardization and technological diversity, openness, and concentration across each area. We observed that technological diversity increases with technology standardization in telecommunication and consumer electronics. In addition, there is a long time-lag effect on technological diversity in Computer & Machinery. Conversely, negative associations with diversity were observed in Other ICT. No significant associations were found between technology standardization and openness or concentration. These findings support the positive side of technology standards, which can offset the claimed lock-in effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Lee, Won Sang & Sohn, So Young, 2018. "Effects of standardization on the evolution of information and communications technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 308-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:132:y:2018:i:c:p:308-317
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2018.02.016
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