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Seizing opportunities for the support of innovation through committee standards and standardization: Insights from German companies

: Abdelkafi, N.; Makhotin, S.


International journal of IT standards and standardization research 12 (2014), No.2, pp.38-56
ISSN: 1539-3062 (Print)
ISSN: 1539-3054 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer MOEZ ( IMW) ()

This paper provides insights into the key results of a research project funded by the German Institute for Standardization DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.). It investigates how German companies, in particular SMEs, can leverage committee standards to drive innovations. Whereas the impact of standardization on innovation has been acknowledged in the scientific literature from the macro-perspective, little is known on how standards and standardization can support innovation on the company level. This research builds upon findings from 40 semi-structured interviews conducted with experts from German companies in five sectors: biotechnology, nanotechnology, services, security, and mechanical engineering. The key informants are practitioners with R&D and standardization experience. The interview data are fitted into a qualitative model that explains how standards and standardization can lead to innovation, given certain contextual factors (internal and external). The analysis of this data shows that companies that use standards and are involved regularly in standardization processes are able to create six types of opportunities supporting innovation.