Standardization: What’s in a Name?

  • Henk J. de Vries


What is standardization? Several definitions exist, illustrating some confusion about it. It is demonstrated below that none of these definitions exactly defines standardization in the way that the term is generally used in practice. Therefore, a new definition has been formulated. A clear definition is of help in gaining a better understanding of standardization, in distinguishing under which circumstances and in which areas standardization is an appropriate instrument, and in improving standardization.


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  1. 2.
    In former state economies, however, there is a shift in the opposite direction.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Some standards remain unchanged, for instance, the QWERTY keyboard, the A series of paper sizes, and the International System of Units (SI).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    According to the International Standard ISO/IEC 2382–17 (ISO/IEC, 1996a). Almost the same definition can be found in the International Standard ISO 8402 (ISO, 1994b), which states: entity: that which can be individually described and considered. Note — An entity may be, for example: an activity or a process, a product, an organization, a system or a person or any combination thereof.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Though there might be company standards for this product-creation process.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henk J. de Vries
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Rotterdam School of ManagementErasmus University RotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Nederlands Normalisatie InstituutDelftThe Netherlands

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