Conflict, Cooperation, and Consensus in Standards-Setting

Lori Rosenkopf, Management, The Wharton School

Abstract: We study how firms simultaneously engage in competition and cooperation in technology standard-setting multipartner alliances. Departing from prior research that has typically explored competition in isolation from cooperation, we bridge these two literatures by examining firm communication and community consensus in these venues. We show how network position affects the level of conflict expressed in the firm’s electronic communications regarding each proposed standard, and then demonstrate how the collective level of conflict is associated with the degree of consensus around the standard expressed in voting records.