A World of Standards

Paperback | October 15, 2002

byNils Brunsson, Bengt Jacobsson

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In the modern world there is no shortage of people who know what is best for others. Self-appointed experts, consultants, and organizations try to convince states, corporations, and individuals that they would be better off if they only followed some specific rules about what to do. Theserules are presented as being voluntary and advisory. They are standards, not mandatory directives, and in modern life standards abound.Standards may concern what characteristics a telephone should have, how a company should report its financial transactions, how organizations should be managed, how states should treat their citizens, how children should be raised, and so forth. Even organizations as powerful as states and largecorporations follow standards on how to organize, which policies to pursue, what kinds of services to provide, or how their products should be designed. Standards enable a higher degree of global order in the modern world than would exist without them. They facilitate coordination and cooperation even among people and organizations that are far apart. The authors believe that standardization is a much neglected area of social science -- an area thathas by no means received the attention it deserves in view of its importance to society. This book seeks to redress the balance by providing an in-depth examination of a number of aspects of standardization, how it is formed, and what effects it has on the world in which we live.

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In the modern world there is no shortage of people who know what is best for others. Self-appointed experts, consultants, and organizations try to convince states, corporations, and individuals that they would be better off if they only followed some specific rules about what to do. Theserules are presented as being voluntary and advis...

Nils Brunsson is Professor of Management at the Stockholm School of Economics and Chairman of the Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score). He has held the City of Stockholm Chair in Management at the Stockholm School of Economics since 1986. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and eighteen books in the field ...

other books by Nils Brunsson

Format:PaperbackDimensions:198 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.46 inPublished:October 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199256950

ISBN - 13:9780199256952

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Table of Contents

1. Nils Brunsson and Bengt Jacobsson: The Contemporary Expansion of StandardizationPart I: Regulating by Standards2. Nils Brunsson: Organizations, Markets, and Standardization3. Bengt Jacobsson: Standardization and Expert Knowledge4. Goran Ahrne, Nils Brunsson, and Christina Garsten: Standardizing through OrganizationPart II: Producing and Distributing Standards5. Staffan Furusten: The Knowledge Base of Standards6. Kristina Tamm Hallstrom: Organizing the Process of Standardization7. Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson: Arenas as Standardizers8. Roger Henning: Selling StandardsPart III: Adopting Standards9. Nils Brunsson and Bengt Jacobsson: Following Standards10. Nils Brunsson: Standardization and Uniformity11. Nils Brunsson: Standardization and Fashion Trends12. Nils Brunsson and Bengt Jacobsson: The Pros and Cons of Standardization: An Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

`The authors do a masterful job of highlighting why the study of standardization merits research attention. . . . this is a valuable book that will guide many future empirical studies.'American Journal of Sociology