Development of IT-Standards

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


Learning Portal RWTHmoodle

Course material will be made available on RWTHmoodle. You will have to register for this lecture in RWTHonline to access course material on RWTHmoodle. The Forum in RWTHmoodle provides an opportunity to discuss topics after classes and should be used to ask questions regarding the organization of the course or general course related questions.