In the just-released December 2012 issue of Business & Society, Christian Frankel and Erik Højbjerg, both of the Copenhagen Business School, published “The Political Standardizer.” BAS Editor Duane Windsor writes:
The article provides a framework for demonstrating that corporate technical activity and corporate political activity can overlap substantially or intertwine in ways that prove quite difficult to tease apart analytically. A “political standardizer” is a company that uses technical standardization as a political strategy. The article provides an interesting case study of Lego, the Danish toy producer.
An excerpt from the article:
Such an actor purposely seeks points of contact between technical standardization and government policy. Unlike more familiar forms of lobbying, this combination of technical and political activity is not necessarily done with the aim of blocking government policy, that is, avoiding regulation. Rather, technical standards are deliberately developed to anticipate the demands of policymakers in the hope of shaping policy to support rather than constrain the flexibility and uniformity of technical standardization. The political standardizer pursues a strategy that involves collective action by those active in technical standardization. It also pursues its own interest, of course; but to establish and maintain the coupling of technical standards and law, it needs to express itself in terms of collective interest and activity.
Business & Society (BAS), peer-reviewed and published quarterly, is the official journal of the International Association for Business and Society, the only independent professional association dedicated to business and society teaching and research. BAS focuses on original research relating to business ethics, business-government relations, corporate governance, corporate social performance, and environmental-management issues. Get e-alerts about newly published research from BAS by clicking here.