Exploring the formation mechanism of technology standard competitiveness in artificial intelligence industry: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis

    Siwei Liu Affiliation
    ; Lijun Zhou Affiliation
    ; Jing Yang Affiliation


This study aims to reveal the complex mechanism influencing technology standard competitiveness (TSC) in the artificial intelligence industry. Compared with research using traditional linear models, this research adopts the fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) method to obtain the multiple equivalent paths for different factors that jointly produce TSC. The sample of this study involves 32 countries, and the research framework is constructed from the technological, organizational, and environmental aspects of the phenomenon. The fsQCA method was used to demonstrate the asymmetric relationship between cause and effect. The results indicate four configuration paths but no necessary conditions leading to TSC. Academic research intensity and market size play vital roles in developing TSC. Some logically complementary relationships exist between organizational participation, technological innovation ability, and international competitive pressure. These findings are helpful for policymakers in their formulation of artificial intelligence– related strategies.

Keyword : technology standardization, artificial intelligence industry, fsQCA, technology–organization–environment (TOE) framework, technology standard competitiveness, configurations

How to Cite
Liu, S., Zhou, L., & Yang, J. (2023). Exploring the formation mechanism of technology standard competitiveness in artificial intelligence industry: a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Journal of Business Economics and Management, 24(4), 653–675.
Published in Issue
Nov 8, 2023
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Abbott, A. (2001). Review of Fuzzy-set social science, by Charles C. Ragin. Contemporary Sociology, 30(4), 330–331.

Acquah, I. S. K., Naude, M. J., & Sendra-García, J. (2021). Supply chain collaboration in the petroleum sector of an emerging economy: Comparing results from symmetrical and asymmetrical approaches. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 166, 120568.

af Malmborg, F., & Trondal, J. (2021). Discursive framing and organizational venues: Mechanisms of artificial intelligence policy adoption. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 89(1).

Ahmadi, H., Nilashi, M., Shahmoradi, L., & Ibrahim, O. (2017). Hospital Information System adoption: Expert perspectives on an adoption framework for Malaysian public hospitals. Computers in Human Behavior, 67, 161–189.

Akerlof, G. A. (1970). The market for “lemons”: Quality uncertainty and the market mechanism. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 84(3), 488–500.

Amsden, A. H. (2001). The rise of “the rest”: Challenges to the west from late-industrializing economies. Oxford University Press.

Angulo, J., Calzada, J., & Estruch, A. (2011). Selection of standards for digital television: The battle for Latin America. Telecommunications Policy, 35(8), 773–787.

Arrow, K. J., Forsythe, R., Gorham, M., Hahn, R., Hanson, R., Ledyard, J. O., Levmore, S., Litan, R., Milgrom, P., Nelson, F. D., Neumann, G. R., Ottaviani, M., Schelling, T. C., Shiller, R. J., Smith, V. L., Snowberg, E., Sunstein, C. R., Tetlock, P. C., Tetlock, P. E., Varian, H. R., Wolfers, J., & Zitzewitz, E. (2008). The promise of prediction markets. Science, 320(5878), 877–878.

Bekker, B., Eberhard, A., Gaunt, T., & Marquard, A. (2008). South Africa’s rapid electrification programme: Policy, institutional, planning, financing and technical innovations. Energy Policy, 36(8), 3125–3137.

Blind, K. (2002). Driving forces for standardization at standardization development organizations. Applied Economics, 34(16), 1985–1998.

Blind, K. (2006). Explanatory factors for participation in formal standardisation processes: Empirical evidence at firm level. Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 15(2), 157–170.

Blind, K. (2012). The influence of regulations on innovation: A quantitative assessment for OECD countries. Research Policy, 41(2), 391–400.

Blind, K., & Mangelsdorf, A. (2016). Motives to standardize: Empirical evidence from Germany. Technovation, 48, 13–24.

Blind, K., & Thumm, N. (2004). Interrelation between patenting and standardisation strategies: Empirical evidence and policy implications. Research Policy, 33(10), 1583–1598.

Blind, K., & von Laer, M. (2022). Paving the path: drivers of standardization participation at ISO. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 47, 1115–1134.

Blind, K., Petersen, S. S., & Riillo, C. A. (2017). The impact of standards and regulation on innovation in uncertain markets. Research Policy, 46(1), 249–264.

Borgman, H. P., Bahli, B., Heier, H., & Schewski, F. (2013). Cloudrise: Exploring cloud computing adoption and governance with the TOE framework. In 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (pp. 4425–4435). Wailea, HI, USA.

Brunsson, N., Rasche, A., & Seidl, D. (2012). The dynamics of standardization: Three perspectives on standards in organization studies. Organization Studies, 33(5–6), 613–632.

Büthe, T., & Mattli, W. (2011). The new global rulers. In the new global rulers. Princeton University Press.

Chang, S.-H. (2021). Technical trends of artificial intelligence in standard-essential patents. Data Technologies and Applications, 55(1), 97–117.

Chen, G., Kang, H., & Luna-Reyes, L. F. (2019). Key determinants of online fiscal transparency: A technology-organization-environment framework. Public Performance & Management Review, 42(3), 606–631.

Cho, J., Cheon, Y., Jun, J. W., & Lee, S. (2022). Digital advertising policy acceptance by out-of-home advertising firms: A combination of TAM and TOE framework. International Journal of Advertising, 41(3), 500–518.

Choung, J. Y., Ji, I., & Hameed, T. (2011). International standardization strategies of latecomers: The cases of Korean TPEG, T-DMB, and binary CDMA. World Development, 39(5), 824–838.

Cruz-Jesus, F., Pinheiro, A., & Oliveira, T. (2019). Understanding CRM adoption stages: Empirical analysis building on the TOE framework. Computers in Industry, 109, 1–13.

Dahms, S. (2019). Foreign-owned subsidiary knowledge sourcing: The role of location and expatriates. Journal of Business Research, 105, 178–188.

De Toni, A. F., & Pessot, E. (2021). Investigating organisational learning to master project complexity: An embedded case study. Journal of Business Research, 129, 541–554.

De Vries, H. J., & Slob, F. J. (2006). Best practice in company standardization. International Journal of IT Standards and Standardization Research (IJITSR), 4(1), 62–85.

De Vries, H., Blind, K., Mangelsdorf, A., Verheul, H., & van der Zwan, J. (2009). SME access to European standardization. Enabling small and medium-sized enterprises to achieve greater benefit from standards and from involvement in standardization. Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.

Delcamp, H., & Leiponen, A. (2014). Innovating standards through informal consortia: The case of wireless telecommunications. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 36, 36–47.

DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160.

Doganoglu, T., & Wright, J. (2006). Multihoming and compatibility. International Journal of Industrial Organization, 24(1), 45–67.

Dubé, L., Pingali, P., & Webb, P. (2012). Paths of convergence for agriculture, health, and wealth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(31), 12294–12301.

Egyedi, T. M. (2006). Beyond consortia, beyond standardization? Redefining the consortium problem. In K. Jakobs (Ed.), Advanced topics in information technology standards and standardization research (vol. 1, pp. 91–110). IGI Global.

Eisingerich, A. B., Bell, S. J., & Tracey, P. (2010). How can clusters sustain performance? The role of network strength, network openness, and environmental uncertainty. Research Policy, 39(2), 239–253.

Farrell, J., & Saloner, G. (1985). Standardization, compatibility, and innovation. RAND Journal of Economics, 16(1), 70–83.

Fatima, S., Desouza, K. C., & Dawson, G. S. (2020). National strategic artificial intelligence plans: A multi-dimensional analysis. Economic Analysis and Policy, 67, 178–194.

Fiss, P. C. (2011). Building better causal theories: A fuzzy set approach to typologies in organization research. The Academy of Management Journal, 54(2), 393–420.

Fontagné, L., Orefice, G., Piermartini, R., & Rocha, N. (2015). Product standards and margins of trade: Firm-level evidence. Journal of International Economics, 97(1), 29–44.

Funk, J. L., & Methe, D. T. (2001). Market- and committee-based mechanisms in the creation and diffusion of global industry standards: The case of mobile communication. Research Policy, 30(4), 589–610.

Gao, F., Jia, X., Zhao, Z., Chen, C. C., Xu, F., Geng, Z., & Song, X. (2021). Bibliometric analysis on tendency and topics of artificial intelligence over last decade. Microsystem Technologies, 27(4), 1545–1557.

Gao, P. (2007). Counter‐networks in standardization: A perspective of developing countries. Information Systems Journal, 17(4), 391–420.

Gao, P., Yu, J., & Lyytinen, K. (2014). Government in standardization in the catching-up context: Case of China’s mobile system. Telecommunications Policy, 38(2), 200–209.

Gao, X. (2014). A latecomer’s strategy to promote a technology standard: The case of Datang and TD-SCDMA. Research Policy, 43(3), 597–607.

García-Sánchez, E., García-Morales, V. J., & Martín-Rojas, R. (2018). Analysis of the influence of the environment, stakeholder integration capability, absorptive capacity, and technological skills on organizational performance through corporate entrepreneurship. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 14(2), 345–377.

Hidemichi, F., & Shunsuke, M. (2017), Trends and priority shifts in artificial intelligence technology invention: A global patent analysis (RIETI Discussion Paper Series, p. 17 E-066). Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Ho, J. Y., & O’Sullivan, E. (2017). Strategic standardisation of smart systems: A roadmapping process in support of innovation. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 115, 301–312.

Hobday, M. (1995). East Asian latecomer firms: Learning the technology of electronics. World Development, 23(7), 1171–1193.

Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China. (2021). 2020 Global Artificial Intelligence Innovation Index report.

Jakobs, K., Procter, R., & Williams, R. (1998). User participation in standards setting – the panacea? StandardView, 6(2), 85–89.

Jancenelle, V. E. (2021). Tangible−intangible resource composition and firm success. Technovation, 108, 102337.

Jho, W. (2007). Global political economy of technology standardization: A case of the Korean mobile telecommunications market. Telecommunications Policy, 31(2), 124–138.

Jiang, H., Gao, S., Zhao, S., & Chen, H. (2020a). Competition of technology standards in Industry 4.0: An innovation ecosystem perspective. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 37(4), 772–783.

Jiang, H., Sun, S., Xu, H., Zhao, S., & Chen, Y. (2020b). Enterprises’ network structure and their technology standardization capability in Industry 4.0. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 37(4), 749–765.

Jiang, H., Zhao, S., Li, Z., & Chen, Y. (2016). Interaction between technology standardization and technology development: A coupling effect study. Information Technology and Management, 17(3), 229–243.

Jiang, H., Zhao, S., Zhang, S., & Xu, X. (2018a). The adaptive mechanism between technology standardization and technology development: An empirical study. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135, 241–248.

Jiang, H., Zhao, S., Zhang, Z. J., & Yi, Y. (2018b). Exploring the mechanism of technology standardization and innovation using the solidification theory of binary eutectic alloy. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135, 217–228.

Kang, B., Huo, D., & Motohashi, K. (2014). Comparison of Chinese and Korean companies in ICT global standardization: Essential patent analysis. Telecommunications Policy, 38(10), 902–913.

Kano, S. (2000). Technical innovations, standardization and regional comparison – a case study in mobile communications. Telecommunications Policy, 24(4), 305–321.

Khemani, R. S. (1993). Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law. OECD Publications and Information Centre.

Kim, K., Jung, S., Hwang, J., & Hong, A. (2018). A dynamic framework for analyzing technology standardisation using network analysis and game theory. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 30(5), 540–555.

Kim, L. (1997). Imitation to innovation: The dynamics of Korea’s technological learning. Harvard Business School Press.

Kshetri, N., Palvia, P., & Dai, H. (2011). Chinese institutions and standardization: The case of government support to domestic third generation cellular standard. Telecommunications Policy, 35(5), 399–412.

Kwak, J., Lee, H., & Fomin, V. V. (2011). Government coordination of conflicting interests in standardisation: Case studies of indigenous ICT standards in China and South Korea. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 23(7), 789–806.

Lee, H., & Oh, S. (2006). A standards war waged by a developing country: Understanding international standard setting from the actor-network perspective. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 15(3), 177–195.

Lee, H., & Oh, S. (2008). The political economy of standards setting by newcomers: China’s WAPI and South Korea’s WIPI. Telecommunications Policy, 32(9–10), 662–671.

Lee, H., Chan, S., & Oh, S. (2009). China’s ICT standards policy after the WTO accession: Techno‐national versus techno‐globalism. Info, 11(1), 9–18.

Lee, K., Lim, C., & Song, W. (2005). Emerging digital technology as a window of opportunity and technological leapfrogging: Catch-up in digital TV by the Korean firms. International Journal of Technology Management, 29(1–2), 40–63.

Li, Y., Guo, H., Cooper, S. Y., & Wang, H. (2019). The influencing factors of the technology standard alliance collaborative innovation of emerging industry. Sustainability, 11(24), 6930.

Liu, S. G., Li, Z., & Ba, L. (2020, February). Impact of artificial intelligence 2.0 on teaching and learning. In Proceedings of the 2020 9th International Conference on Educational and Information Technology (pp. 128–133).

Lyu, Y. B., Wei, M., & Lin G. G. (2019). Research of technology fusion based on patentometrics: Judge, status and trends-take the field of Internet of Things and artificial intelligence as an example. Science of Science and Management of S.& T., (04), 16–31. (in Chinese)

Malik, S., Chadhar, M., Vatanasakdakul, S., & Chetty, M. (2021). Factors affecting the organizational adoption of blockchain technology: Extending the Technology–Organization–Environment (TOE) framework in the Australian context. Sustainability, 13(16), 9404.

Margetis, G., Ntoa, S., Antona, M., & Stephanidis, C. (2021). Human‐centered design of artificial intelligence. In G. Salvendy & W. Karwowski (Eds.), Handbook of human factors and ergonomics (5th ed.) (pp. 1085–1106). John Wiley and Sons.

Markard, J., & Erlinghagen, S. (2017). Technology users and standardization: Game changing strategies in the field of smart meter technology. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 118, 226–235.

Misangyi, V. F., & Acharya, A. G. (2014). Substitutes or complements? A configurational examination of corporate governance mechanisms. Academy of Management Journal, 57(6), 1681–1705.

Moon, S., & Lee, H. (2017, June). Impact of the TBT and the technical innovation on exports. in Proceedings 2017 ISPIM Innovation Symposium, Vienna, Austria.

Moon, S., & Lee, H. (2021). The primary actors of technology standardization in the manufacturing industry. IEEE Access, 9, 101886–101901.

Moon, S., Chin, K., & Lee, H. (2018, August). IEC standard revision dynamics: Symbiosis between standard and technology. In 2018 Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET) (pp. 1–8). Honolulu, HI, USA. IEEE.

National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2019). U.S. leadership in AI: A plan for federal engagement in developing technical standards and related tools. NIST. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from

Narayanan, V. K., & Chen, T. (2012). Research on technology standards: Accomplishment and challenges. Research Policy, 41(8), 1375–1406.

North, D. C. (1990). Institutions, institutional change and economic performance. Cambridge University Press.

O’Sullivan, E., & Brévignon-Dodin, L. (2012). Role of standardisation in support of emerging technologies. Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge.

Özsomer, A., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2000). The effects of technology standards on the structure of the global PC industry. European Journal of Marketing, 34(9/10), 1199–1220.

Paik, J. H., Kim, M. K., & Park, J. H. (2017). The antecedents and consequences of technology standardizations in Korean IT small and medium-sized enterprises. Information Technology and Management, 18(4), 293–304.

Papatheodorou, A., & Pappas, N. (2017). Economic recession, job vulnerability, and tourism decision making: A qualitative comparative analysis. Journal of Travel Research, 56(5), 663–677.

Pappas, I. O., & Woodside, A. G. (2021). Fuzzy-set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA): Guidelines for research practice in Information Systems and marketing. International Journal of Information Management, 58, 102310.

Pateli, A., Mylonas, N., & Spyrou, A. (2020). Organizational adoption of social media in the hospitality industry: An integrated approach based on DIT and TOE frameworks. Sustainability, 12(17), 7132.

Ragin, C. C. (1987). The comparative method: Moving beyond qualitative and quantitative strategies. University of California Press.

Ragin, C. C. (2006). User’s guide to fuzzy-set/qualitative comparative analysis 2.0. Department of Sociology, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Ragin, C. C. (2008a). Measurement versus calibration: A set-theoretic approach. In J. M. Box-Steffensmeier, H. E. Brady, & D. Collier (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of political methodology (pp. 174–198). Oxford Academic.

Ragin, C. C. (2008b). Redesigning social inquiry: Fuzzy sets and beyond. Wiley Online Library.

Ragin, C. C., & Fiss, P. C. (2008). Net effects analysis versus configurational analysis: An empirical demonstration. In Ragin, C. C., Redesigning Social Inquiry: Fuzzy Sets and Beyond (pp. 190–212). University of Chicago Press.

Russo, I., Confente, I., Gligor, D., & Cobelli, N. (2019). A roadmap for applying qualitative comparative analysis in supply chain research: The reverse supply chain case. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 49(1), 99–120.

Schneider, C. Q., & Wagemann, C. (2012). Set-theoretic methods for the social sciences: A guide to qualitative comparative analysis. Cambridge University Press.

Schneider, M. R., Schulze-Bentrop, C., & Paunescu, M. (2010). Mapping the institutional capital of high-tech firms: A fuzzy-set analysis of capitalist variety and export performance. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(2), 246–266.

Shin, D. H., Kim, H., & Hwang, J. (2015). Standardization revisited: A critical literature review on standards and innovation. Computer Standards & Interfaces, 38, 152–157.

Su, H., Qu, X., Tian, S., Ma, Q., Li, L., & Chen, Y. (2022). Artificial intelligence empowerment: The impact of research and development investment on green radical innovation in high‐tech enterprises. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 39(3), 489–502.

Tornatzky, L. G., & Fleischer, M. (1990). The processes of technological innovation. Lexington Books. Lexington, Mass.

Tseng, C. Y., & Ting, P. H. (2013). Patent analysis for technology development of artificial intelligence: A country-level comparative study. Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice, 15(4), 463–475.

Utterback, J. M. (1994). Radical innovation and corporate regeneration. Research Technology Management, 37(4), 10.

van de Kaa, G., & Greeven, M. (2017). LED standardization in China and South East Asia: Stakeholders, infrastructure and institutional regimes. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 72, 863–870.

Walker, R. M. (2014). Internal and external antecedents of process innovation: A review and extension. Public Management Review, 16(1), 21–44.

Wakke, P., Blind, K., & Ramel, F. (2016). The impact of participation within formal standardization on firm performance. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 45(3), 317–330.

Wang, D. P., Wei, X. Y., & Fang, F. (2016). The resource evolution of standard alliance by technology standardization. Chinese Management Studies, 10(4), 787–801.

Wen, J., Qualls, W. J., & Zeng, D. (2020). Standardization alliance networks, standard-setting influence, and new product outcomes. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 37(2), 138–157.

Whitley, R. (1999). Divergent capitalisms: The social structuring and change of business systems. OUP Oxford.

Wiegmann, P. M., de Vries, H. J., & Blind, K. (2017). Multi-mode standardisation: A critical review and a research agenda. Research Policy, 46(8), 1370–1386.

Witt, M. A., Fainshmidt, S., & Aguilera, R. V. (2021). Our board, our rules: Nonconformity to global corporate governance norms. Administrative Science Quarterly, 67(1), 131–166.

Woodside, A. G. (2018). Have your cake and eat it too: Achieving scientific legitimacy. Industrial Marketing Management, 69, 53–61.

Wu, F., Lu, C., Zhu, M., Chen, H., Zhu, J., Yu, K., Li, L., Li, M., Chen, Q., Li, X., Cao, X., Wang, Z., Zha, Z., Zhuang, Y. & Pan, Y. (2020). Towards a new generation of artificial intelligence in China. Nature Machine Intelligence, 2(6), 312–316.

Zhang, Y. S., & He R. F. (2015). Formation mechanisms of technical standard competitive advantages of hi-tech enterprises. The Theory and Practice of Finance and Economics, 4, 126–130.

Zielke, T. (2020, September). Is artificial intelligence ready for standardization? In M. Yilmaz, J. Niemann, P. Clarke, & R. Messnarz (Eds.), Communications in computer and information science: Vol. 1251. Systems, software and services process improvement (pp. 259–274). Springer, Cham.

Zoo, H., de Vries, H. J., & Lee, H. (2017). Interplay of innovation and standardization: Exploring the relevance in developing countries. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 118, 334–348.