Development of IT-Standards

For this module, there will be no lectures in the Winter term of 2023 / 2024 due to a sabbatical of Prof Reimers. However, materials for self-study are made available to interested students and a written exam will be offered. Since there are no lectures, student presentations that regularly count for 30% of the final grade will also not be held. As a result, the grade of the written exam will account for 100% of the total grade for this module in the Winter term of 2023 / 2024.

If you would like to take the exam, please contact us at kirchhoff@wi.rwth-aachen.de so that we can register you for Moodle. In this way, course resources offered in the Winter term of 2022 / 2023 will be made available to you, including audio recordings of the lectures in that term. If you decide to take the exam, you have to register for it on RWTHonline separately before the due date.

Teaching resources also include a forum, assigned literature, and lecture slide from the last term. The forum makes available answers to questions students have had in past terms. Please note, however, that, due to the sabbatical of Prof. Reimers, the forum will not be actively maintained in this coming Winter term. The assigned literature and the lecture slides of the last term can be downloaded from Moodle and we also offer to prepare a reader which includes all mandatory literature as a hard copy. This could be useful as the written exam will be held as an open book exam so that all materials printed on paper can be taken to the exam. If you would like to buy a reader, which we sell at production cost for us, please contact arslan@wi.rwth-aachen.de.

If you decide to participate in the written exam, please keep in mind that your preparation for the exam must rely solely on your own study. There will be no ‘live’ support such as answering emails or questions in the forum!

Credits & contact hours

The module consists of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour tutorial. (V2/Ü1)
CP (Credit Points): 5 (including tutorial), 6* (including tutorial and colloquium)

*) Only for students of Computer Science

Degree programmes

Business Administration (M.Sc.) General Core Elective Section
Specialized Core Elective Section: Specialization in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Marketing
Management, Business and Economics
Core Elective Section: Specialization in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Marketing
Core Elective Section: Specialization in General Management
Business Administration and Engineering (M.Sc.) General Core Elective Section
Specialized Core Elective Section: Specialization in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Marketing
Mathematics (M.Sc.) Subsidiary Subject Business Administration
Computer Science (M.Sc.) Applied Courses: Business Administration (6 CP with Colloquium)


Course description

Organizations are the main buyers of information technology (IT) products. Such products are used to build information systems which increasingly cross organizational boundaries. Information systems consist not only of IT products, but also of organizational processes, knowledge and rules. Together, they form the "nervous system" of organizations and networks of organizations. From a user’s point of view, this means that IT products need to be integrated as components into larger systems; from a vendor’s point of view, products need to be positioned so as to make their incorporation into larger systems easy while also protecting competitive interests of the firm. The key to both these tasks is the specification and possibly standardization of interfaces through which IT products are linked with other products and systems, thus becoming part of systems themselves. Therefore, consideration of possible participation in processes aimed at specifying and standardizing these interfaces becomes an increasingly important task for vendors and user organizations alike (often, large vendors are also users themselves). Thus, the field of IT standardization is well on its way towards becoming a general management issue.

The course consists of a theoretical and an empirical part. The theoretical part addresses basic conceptual issues and then proceeds to analyze market-based and committee-based standardization processes as well as the effectiveness of standardization processes. It also introduces a more fine-grained typology of standardization processes. The theoretical part concludes with presenting an integrated model of standardization processes which will then be used to analyze several cases that are all drawn from the area of wireless data communication systems.

The course will rely on published case studies of real-life IT standardization processes. Students will have to present and analyze individual cases, preferably in teams. Cases will revolve around one specific technology (mobile telecommunications) so as to facilitate a basic understanding of the technical issues involved in the standardization processes selected for this course. The course consists of regular classes and tutorials. Tutorials will be used to refresh basic concepts in organizational and economic theory as well as provide a basic understanding of technical concepts used in this course.


Learning objectives

In this course, students will learn to

  1. Appreciate the relevance of IT standardization processes for organizations
  2. Understand and analyze standardization processes
  3. Evaluate such standardization processes from the perspective of firms (both as users and vendors of IT)
  4. Develop a critical attitude towards literature


Course dates



Written examination (see "Prüfungstermine")


Online Ressources

Course material will be made available on RWTHmoodle. You will have to register for this lecture in RWTHonline to access course material on RWTHmoodle.

We also have a seperate Forum - Forum LuF WI. You can find our courses and discussed topics here. Please follow the registration process.