CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Technical standards are such a big part of our daily life (cars, mobile phones, food preservation) that they become invisible. While the development of these standards is mainly embedded in international arenas and networks, it is important to know who makes them and in what conditions. This paper simultaneously analyzes the innovative processes of firms, the standard-making work, and the structuring of markets. The analytical frame links together science studies frameworks and Schumpeterian political economy. We assume that standard-making processes can be analyzed as paths through which object forms are controlled. The management of standards confers certain economic advantages on main players which translate into oligopolistic configurations, as seen in the case of the GSM.

Antoine Vion
François-Xavier Dudouet
Delphine Mercier
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