Network effects, standardisation and competitive strategy: how companies influence the emergence of dominant designs
by Marcus Ehrhardt
International Journal of Technology Management (IJTM), Vol. 27, No. 2/3, 2004

Abstract: Network effects and standardisation are central to business success for many of today's high-technology companies. The ability of a firm to establish its technology as a dominant design or so-called de-facto standard is a critical determinant of its long-term competitive position. Which strategy a company should choose in a de-facto standardisation process, e.g. introducing a new technology as a proprietary standard or as a more or less open standard, depends on a variety of situative factors. This paper seeks to analyse the effectiveness of different strategic actions in standardisation processes. Utilising economic theories on network effects, the paper develops a framework for analysing strategic behaviours of companies in de-facto standardisation processes with a special focus on openness strategies. Several case studies illustrate different aspects of the framework.

Online publication date: Mon, 10-May-2004

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