Standards as a driving force that influences emerging technological trajectories in the converging world of the Internet and things: An investigation of the M2M/IoT patent network

Dong hyu Kim, Heejin Lee, Jooyoung Kwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


While standards are said to create windows of opportunity in facilitation of technological convergence, it is not clear how they affect technological trajectories and strategic choices of firms in the face of convergence and in the process of catch-up. There is little research on the relationship between standards and technological trajectories, particularly in the age of convergence. This paper investigates how standards shape the emerging M2M/IoT technological trajectory and influence convergence in terms of technological importance and diversity. We, firstly, found that standards are a driving force of technological convergence. The second finding is that 3GPP standards assume a crucial role in setting the boundary conditions of the M2M/IoT technological systems. Third, we identified strategic groups and strategic patents that centered around the M2M/IoT trajectory. Forth, standards serve as an important factor in the process of creating a new path for catch-up firms (e.g. Huawei). These findings make contributions to innovation and standards studies by empirically examining the relationship between technological trajectories and standards. Furthermore, they clearly cast light on ongoing cooperation and competition along the M2M/IoT trajectory, and offer practical implications for catch-up strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1254
Number of pages21
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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