Motives to standardize: Empirical evidence from Germany
In this paper, we identify the strategic motives of German manufacturing companies in the electrical engineering and machinery industry to be involved in standards development organizations. First, we present the general motives for the formation of strategic alliances and relate them to specific standardization motives. Then, we identify pursuing specific company interests, solving technical problems, knowledge seeking, influencing regulation, and facilitating market access as motives to standardize by means of factor analysis. In a second step, we test hypotheses on the relationship between the importance of strategic motives and firm level variables, e.g. R&D intensity, innovation activities, and firm size. The results reveal that firms in electric engineering and machinery have a particularly strong interest in ensuring industry-friendly design of regulations, which can be achieved by standards. Moreover, the results confirm that small firms also from these two sectors are active in standardization alliances to access knowledge from other involved stakeholders.