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A World of Standards$
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Nils Brunsson and Bengt Jacobsson

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256952.001.0001

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Organizations, Markets, and Standardization

Organizations, Markets, and Standardization

(p.21) 2 Organizations, Markets, and Standardization
A World of Standards

Nils Brunsson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares standardization with three other basic social forms that are similar in their effect: formal organizations, markets, and normative communities. Similarities and differences between these social forms are analyzed, and the way they relate to and influence each other in society. The chapter argues that the present development towards increasing individualization and globalization tends to support standardization as a social form and to add to its importance. Some examples of mixed forms, to be found in practice, are given. The chapter also discusses the competition aspect and argues that the absence of one form opens the way for another. Thus, the extent and range of standardization partly depend on the prevalence and strength of the other institutions. The chapter also claims that standards and standardization are favored by two major contemporary trends, individualization and globalization.

Keywords:   formal organizations, standards, standardization, markets, normative communities, mixed forms, individualization, globalization, competition

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