Standardization is one of – if not the – most important means of governance across borders and many articles on these blog deal with different aspects of standardization. But also beyond this blog there seems to be a growing scholarly interest in standardization, which is evidenced by the current issue of Organization Studies. Edited by Nils Brunsson, Andreas Rasche and David Seidl, the special issue on “The Dynamics of Standardization” features a series of very interesting studies, addressing issues from ISO certification over investment standards to corporate social responsibility.

And I am very happy that fellow guest blogger Sebastian Botzem and myself were able to contribute a paper to this special issue, entitled “Standardization Cycles: A Process Perspective on the Formation and Diffusion of Transnational Standards“. The abstract reads as follows:

Standards are receiving increasing attention, especially at the transnational level where standardization aims at coherence and social ordering beyond the nation-state. However, many attempts to bring about uniformity via formalized standards fail. To understand better how such rules successfully span national and organizational boundaries over time, we compare two cases of standardization in international business. Both Windows desktop software and International Accounting Standards demonstrate the need for a process perspective to understand and explain social ordering through standards. Long-lasting standardization processes require conceptualizing how different sequences of transnational standardization relate to each other. We find that at the core of such recursive cycles is the interplay of input and output legitimacy.

A pre-print version of the article is available at SSRN.