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Dr Paul Wiegmann wins award for ‘standardisation supports innovation’ research

PhD alumnus Dr Paul Wiegmann won the ISPIM Innovation Management Dissertation Award 2020. In his dissertation Setting the Stage for Innovation: Balancing Diverse Interests Through Standardisation, Wiegmann shows how standardisation helps balance diverse interests and create foundations for new technologies. The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) is an organisation of both innovation management practitioners and researchers. The award signals the academic rigour of the dissertation from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) as well as its relevance for practice – both for companies and for policy makers. Wiegmann’s research shows how standards enable innovation and how stakeholders can use standardisation to facilitate bringing new technologies to the market.



Based on a case study of the development of an innovative technology in the central heating industry, Dr Wiegmann’s dissertation shows how standards contribute to the foundations on which innovation can be built. The same case study shows how developers of a new technology can effectively manage standards and technical regulation when developing a new technology. It highlights how standards and innovation can be addressed on three levels – firm, industry, and the wider context – to ensure that a new technology is fit for the market. This part of the dissertation was published as a separate book: Managing innovation and standards: a case in the European heating industry (Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., 2019).

Shaping standards in innovation

Wondering why existing theory could not explain the emergence of standards for e-mobility charging plugs, Wiegmann revisited the theoretical foundations of standards. He identified how committees, markets, and governments all contribute to the emergence of standards. He also explains how innovators can strategically use these modes of standardisation to shape the standards that underly their innovations. This part was published in a scientific journal on innovation management, Research Policy, and can be watched on RSM Discovery.

The third study is a choice experiment with standardisation professionals from several countries in the Internet of Things field. Paul Wiegmann found which characteristics of standardisation organisations they prefer – innovative in terms of topic and research approach.

Dr Paul Wiegmann

Paul Wiegmann is now assistant professor at Eindhoven University of Technology, in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Innovation Technology Entrepreneurship & Marketing Group. He is a member of the board of the European Academy for Standardisation EURAS. The business relevance of his work has led to several presentations for business people and other practitioners. CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis incorporated Wiegmann’s findings into innovation policy advice to the Dutch government.

Wiegmann’s first promoter was Prof. Henk de Vries, professor of standardisation management at RSM. Wiegmann’s second promoter was De Vries’ predecessor, Prof. Knut Blind, currently professor of innovation economics at the Technical University Berlin.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China. www.rsm.nl

The International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) is a community of members from research, industry, consulting and the public sector, all sharing a passion for innovation management – how to successfully create new products, processes and services from ideas to stimulate economic growth and well-being. Formed in Norway in 1983, ISPIM is the oldest, largest and most active international innovation network. www.ispim-innovation.com

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at mschouten@rsm.nl

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