The Relationship between Innovation in Services and Standardization: Empirical Evidence of Service Providers’ Involvement in Standardization
37 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2012 Last revised: 12 Feb 2013
Date Written: April 24, 2012
Extant research suggests a positive and bidirectional relation between innovation and standardization. Focusing on the service industries, this paper relates the theory of innovation in services to the participation of service providers in standardization committees. For this purpose, we review the literature and identify three different patterns of service innovation. Subsequently, we analyze the committee structure of the national standards bodies of the Netherlands (NEN) and Germany (DIN) by applying the industry classification NACE and the standards classification ICS. The analysis reveals that standardization is of vital importance for the service industries. Interestingly, the service industries in both countries use standardization primarily for technology-related service innovations rather than for service standardization in consequence of “innovation in services”. Doing so, service providers largely focus on standardizing technologies from the manufacturing industries in order to expedite “supplier dominated innovation”. Moreover, certain service industries develop technologies themselves and perform “innovation through services”. These service industries are strongly overrepresented in the standardization committees. As for these industries, standardization represents an appropriate mean to speed up market access and diffusion of their innovations. Our findings suggest that policy makers can stimulate innovation in services by promoting the service industries’ participation in standardization.
Keywords: Service innovation, standards, standardization, technology transfer and diffusion
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