Competition-Cooperation Interplay During Multiparty Technology Coordination: The Effect of Firm and Community Heterogeneity on Consensus Standards Formation

Lori Rosenkopf, Management, The Wharton School; Ram Ranganathan, McCombs School of Business; and Anindya Ghosh, Indian School of Business

Abstract: We study how competitive and cooperative motivations simultaneously shape firm-level interactions and community-level outcomes in a unique multiparty arrangement, the technology standards-setting organization (SSO). Examining the communication and voting behavior of 115 firms across three subcommittees of a computing industry SSO over 14 years, we find that two product-market factors influence how firms with highly overlapped technological resources differ in their interactions: when their product-markets are more competitive, they exhibit greater support for the emerging standard as evidenced by positivity and certainty of interaction tone; but when they possess a broader array of complementary products, support is tempered. At the community level, controlling for aggregate measures of competitive tension in interactions, heterogeneity in both firms’ relational influence as well their multiparty experience improve ballot consensus.

Michelle Eckert is Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Mack Institute, where she works to engage students, researchers, and corporate partners in opportunities for collaboration. Michelle received her B.A. in Art from Valparaiso University in 2007. Her background includes two AmeriCorps terms of service working to teach mathematics, computer literacy, and job readiness skills to out-of-school youth in Philadelphia, focusing particularly on promoting access to post-secondary education.