Standards and Standardization: an Interdisciplinary Literature Review

Filippo Grillo*, Amin Yousefi, Edoardo M. Salvemini , Henk de Vries, Paul Moritz Wiegmann, Rudi Bekkers, Geerten van de Kaa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingConference proceedingAcademicpeer-review


Standardisation and standards are long-held and essential features of our society, but their field of study is fragmented. This paper reviews recent developments (2012-2021) of the scientific literature on standardisation and standards by adopting an interdisciplinary and systematic approach. Investigating over 1350 published papers, we analyse both their horizontal topics (theory-oriented) and vertical topics (context or the industry of application). Standards have become an ubiquitous feature of our society, and this is indeed reflected by the richness of insights and disciplinary perspectives we observe in this content analysis. Making use of a bibliometric analysis, we find that (1) especially in the last 5 years, there is a surge of studies on technical standardisation (IT & Engineering), triggered by developments such as IoT and 5G; (2) a set of classical, long-held research domains that was well established even before our time frame and continues to exist, and (3) there is an increasing focus on the role of standardisation with regard to societal impact, such as environment and sustainability. We also describe the recurring theme of the (apparent) paradoxical nature of standardisation – the problems it addresses and the challenges it creates by doing so – and the complex way standardisation relates to innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJoint proceedings EURAS 2021 – Standardisation and Innovation / SIIT 2021 – The Past, Present and Future of ICT Standardisation
EditorsKai Jakobs
Place of PublicationAachen
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event25th EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference: Standardisation and Innovation - Online
Duration: 6 Sept 20219 Sept 2021
Conference number: 25

Publication series

SeriesEURAS Contributions to standardisation research


Conference25th EURAS Annual Standardisation Conference
Abbreviated titleEURAS
Internet address


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  • Standardization - Mapping A Field Of Research

    de Vries, H., 2002, The Standards Edge. S. Bollin (ed.). Ann arbor, MI, USA, p. 99-121 23 p.

    Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

  • Standardisation - outline of a field of research

    de Vries, H., 2001, Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Workshop on Standardization Research, Hamburg, 23-25 September 2001. Hesser, W. (ed.). Hamburg - Germany

    Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

  • Standardization - A New Discipline?

    de Vries, H., 2001, Conference Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE Conference on Standardization and Innovation in Information Technology (SIIT 2001) , October 3-6, 2001, Boulder, Colorado, USA. Schoechle, T. D. & Wagner, C. B. (eds.). Boulder

    Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional

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