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Tilburg Law and Economics Center

TILEC supports and stimulates academic research on the governance of economic activity. It fosters academically path breaking and practically relevant research and aims to be a leading center worldwide.

TILEC Work in Progress: Olia Kanevskaia

Input and output legitimacy in technological standardization
10:45-11:45, M 1003

The topic of legitimation of private regulatory activity spans across academic scholarship on law, sociology and political science. Many studies on International Organizations have grappled with the relationship between input and output legitimacy of non-state rule-making bodies. Yet, despite the increasing role of private standards in international legal order, output legitimacy of industry-driven SDOs remains an unchartered area of standardization research.

Focusing on private standardization activity in the ICT sector, this study attempts to identify factors that have contributed to standards’ effectiveness, and hence their wide market acceptance, by conducting case studies on five “successful” ICT standards, namely the GSM, Wi-Fi WLAN, TCP/IP, HTML and Bluetooth specifications; in particular, it evaluates, based on the extensive literature review and interviews with industry experts, the extent to which such aspects as technological supremacy, involvement of governmental agencies, companies’ business strategies and, most importantly, institutional settings of Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) have influenced standards’ effectiveness and ensured their stable position on the market. Based on these examples, this research reveals whether in committee-based standardization, technological supremacy outweighs compliance with global procedural principles for standards development, such as openness, transparency, and consensus-based decision-making; in other words, it analyses to what extent does the input performance of SDOs affect their output performance, and whether the transition from output to input legitimacy is desirable.  


When: 24 October 2018 10:45

End date: 24 October 2018 11:45