Several studies investigating the trade effects of standardization have found a positive impact of the number of international standards in a country on its trade volumes. While international standards have so far been considered as exogenous, we investigate what drives countries to take over leading roles, i.e. secretariats, in committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) using a panel dataset on the ISO participation of 12 countries. Looking at this phenomenon through the perspective of agenda setting in international institutions we expect ISO participation to be a desirable tool for shaping technological trajectories and substantiating global influence via international technology transfer. We find that, while for most countries no systematic pattern can be observed, both China and the US show a close correlation between R&D and standardization work at ISO. For China, we attribute this finding to having a strategic approach toward standardization participation, for the US to the distinct features of the decentralized US standardization system. Finally, we derive implications of findings for both research and practice.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows: In the next section we review the relevant literature and formulate two propositions. Section three describes our data sources and methods, section four presents the results of our analysis. In section five we discuss our results. Finally, we conclude with the implications for policy and present the caveats of our work.
So far, international standards have mainly treated as exogenous parameters in particular in investigating their influence on international trade flows. However, this exogeneity has to be questioned. Therefore, the driving forces to take over leading roles, i.e. secretariats, in committees of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have to be investigated. Consequently, we examined the share of secretariats that national standard bodies hold within ICS classes at ISO and analyzed its potential drivers for a panel of 12 countries. Firstly, we found that R&D is an important factor while trade volumes, as well as national and international stocks of standards, showed no significant effect. Secondly, we also identified significant effects on an individual country level for both China and the US, covering both ends of a spectrum of public vs. private funding of national standards bodies. Consequently, our findings show that international standards cannot be treated as exogenous parameters in the analysis of trade flows, but also other investigations, e.g. of economic growth. Much more comprehensive approaches, like two-stage methods, are needed, i.e. revealing first the influencing forces of international standardization and standards and then taking these results into account in the assessment of their impact.
The use of any technology is not an end in itself. The criteria for making an effective technical decision in Nigeria must be found in the country's most important development goals and procedures. Mukoro (2020) argues that the description of situations in which technology is applied determines both private and public aspects. The technology used in a small family-owned business is referred to as private technology. It has to do with the manufacture of consumer goods, and it is mostly an individual entrepreneur's decision. Examples of "public technology" include large industrial firms producing consumer goods or capital equipment, as well as national institutions providing basic services such as rail transport, flood control and irrigation systems, electricity grids, higher education, banking and credit systems. As a result, in Nigeria, technological advances imply new methods that surpass existing national standards, but do not necessarily have to be on top of the world. This is due to the fact that Nigeria is still in the early stages of industrial and agricultural development (Mukoro, 2020). 2b1af7f3a8