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Digital Displacement: How Digitalization Affects Industry Standards

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Prof. Susan Scott from LSE presents her recent work on how digitization affects the industry standards of the book publishing industry.

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Abstract

The development and deployment of digital initiatives is generating significant change within industries. Yet, we know little about what ongoing digitalization means for the primary (ISO) industry standards regulating core products. This motivates our field study which examines a well-established and much-used standard in the book publishing industry. We find that regular maintenance and systematic revisions to the standard do not suffice when the product that a standard regulates is digitized, generating challenges and tensions that significantly threaten its continued global robustness. This produces what we theorize as digital displacement, a process undermining the material capacity of a standard to effectively coordinate and regulate industry operations in the digital era.

Bio

Susan Scott is a Professor of Information Systems and Innovation in the Department of Management at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research on the digital transformation of work has three core themes: developing theoretical approaches that make a critical difference to our understanding of digital work; valuation practices and evaluative apparatus; information infrastructures, standards and the nature of data flows. Susan is currently Group Lead for the Information Systems and Innovation Faculty at the LSE. Her Masters teaching focuses on digital infrastructures and digital business strategy. On the PhD programme, she teaches core traditions and paradigms in information systems and organization studies. She has served on editorial boards including MISQ and ISR. Her background includes a BA in History and Politics (SOAS), an MSc in Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems (LSE), and a PhD in Management Studies (University of Cambridge).


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