Addressing a standards creation process: A focus on ebXML

Beomjin Choi, T. S. Raghu, Ajay Vinze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Current trends in e-business are creating opportunities for automation of business processes across business boundaries. However, lack of standards has caused difficulties for industry players in exploiting resources and coordinating activities in the context of e-business. ebXML - an emerging e-business standard framework to unite competing factions under a banner of international trade - has been developed within an industry consortium using an open, collaborative process with no barriers to entry, whose approach is very different from traditional approach to create standards. Drawing on socio-technological perspective, this paper attempts to gain deeper understanding of such phenomenon by using a case study methodology. This paper uses data drawn mostly from email discussions and minutes of teleconference and face-to-face meeting. Our exploration of the ebXML standardization process generates specific propositions. In summary, our analysis found that the 'openness' of standardization process helps to create a more comprehensive standard than proprietary standards - effectively leading to convergence of technologies, and that the unfolding dynamics of standardization process varies depending on the characteristics of standards to be developed. We also discuss user participation as an important factor that influences the dynamics of standardization process in such an open, collaborative standardization process. Surprisingly, user participation seems to be more effective in creating technical infrastructure oriented standards rather than business process oriented standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-648
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • E-Business standards
  • Industry consortium
  • Standardization process
  • Standards body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Education
  • General Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Hardware and Architecture


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