Interplay of innovation and standardization: Exploring the relevance in developing countries

Hanah Zoo, Henk J. de Vries, Heejin Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


A growing body of literature recognizes the positive interplay between innovation and standardization. International organizations such as OECD and WTO also increase support for developing countries in building capabilities in innovation and standardization. Yet the relationship between innovation and standardization in developing countries, characterized by relatively weaker technological, economic and institutional capacities, remain under-researched. We review 63 articles extracted from the Web of Science database covering the innovation-standardization nexus in the context of developing countries. We discuss whether and how the relationship between innovation and standardization provides implications for the socioeconomic development in developing countries, and draw a conceptual model to understand the dynamics. Our result shows that standards facilitate innovation in three ways: innovation by scaling, proving and coordinating. While inducing and blocking mechanisms are at play, various stakeholders are involved in the relationship. Among them, the roles of the government and the technology/industry support organizations are highlighted, as they complement the relatively weak technological capabilities of other actors. In contrast to the existing literature on developed countries where standardization is depicted as a dynamic process to shape the innovation path, the current discussion on developing countries is skewed toward the adoption aspect of standards. We also suggest that there is a chasm between the goals of economic growth and those of social development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-348
Number of pages15
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2014S1A3A2043505).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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