First Advisor

Tugrul U. Daim

Date of Publication

Spring 6-9-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Technology Management


Engineering and Technology Management




Telecommunication -- Standards, Telecommunication -- Management



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 169 pages)


There is a dearth of decision-support models or frameworks to aid managers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry in uniformly assessing the key factors in the decision to standardize innovative technologies. Making the proper decision is consequential and potentially fraught with risks for the firm such as competitive exposure, high expenditures with inadequate returns, restrictive inbound or outbound patent licensing obligations, and related complications.

This study presents a framework to guide managers in the ICT industry in assessing the factors that inform the decision to participate in the development of technology standards. Using multi-criteria decision analysis and judgment data from panels of experts, a robust model is developed that comprehends the essential criteria and outcomes within the context of computer interconnect technologies. The resultant, generalizable model is validated against the case of the extant Universal Serial Bus (USB) interconnect standard and found to be congruent with the assessment of the experts.

Scholarship on technology standards development is rich and multifaceted--spanning numerous streams of inquiry. This research contextualizes technology standardization within the economic, strategic, organizational, and legal perspectives. The resultant model demonstrates that strategic planning is regarded by the experts as the principal driver in the decision to participate in a technology standardization effort. Furthermore, the primacy of commitment and leadership within the standards-setting organization is unambiguously established through rigorous quantitative analysis. The proposed model verifies that the firm's desire to align its product roadmap to the emerging standard is the chief criterion in the decision to contribute to the standards development effort. Other criteria of high interest include the leveraging of network externalities to glean disruptive trends within the ecosystem, the exploration of opportunities to expand the total available market for the firm, and the availability and terms of IP licenses. Sensitivity analysis affirms the overall predictive strength and robustness of the model and its widespread applicability.

Future research on model expansion and application to other technologies, as well as the development of uniform patent valuation methods will further enrich the knowledge base.


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