Quotation Marhold, Klaus, Fell, Jan. 2022. Multi-mode standardization under extreme time-pressure – the case of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps. R&D Management. 52 (2), 356-375.




The present study investigates the standardization process of contact tracing apps during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the epidemiological urgency, and differing from classical examples in the literature, this process is characterized by a compressed timeframe. In this setting, we investigate the role of different standard-setting modes and their interaction through the lens of multi-mode standardization. We find that the processes of standard setting through market competition or inclusive multi-stakeholder committees proved time-consuming and inefficient in addressing the immediate needs during this major global health crisis. Multi-mode standardization between committees, market players, and governments equally proved unable to coordinate a standard. Ultimately, a so far neglected actor, namely platform owners, proved to be pivotal in coordinating a widely-adopted standard. Our research extends multi-mode standardization with platform owners as a further standardization actor of proliferating importance given the increasing pervasiveness of platforms in numerous contexts. The present article provides implications for the interplay between different modes of standard setting in general, and the setting of technological standards in crises in particular.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal R&D Management
Citation Index SSCI
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title Multi-mode standardization under extreme time-pressure – the case of COVID-19 contact-tracing apps
Volume 52
Number 2
Year 2022
Page from 356
Page to 375
Reviewed? Y
URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/radm.12508
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/radm.12508
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/radm.12508


Marhold, Klaus (Details)
Fell, Jan (Details)
Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
2943 Research and innovation management (Details)
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