Common specification of data promotes data exchange among many and unspecified individuals and organizations. However, standardization itself tends to discourage innovation that can create new uses of data. To overcome this dilemma of innovation and standardization, this paper analyzes and proposes hypotheses regarding the process through which the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has realized innovations such as web applications by updating the standard. I hypothesize the following changes in standardization process management at the W3C as key factors supporting innovation through standardization among stakeholders with conflicting interests: (1) defining the scope of the specifications to be developed according to functions instead of technical structures; (2) design of a development management policy based on feedback from implementations, referred to as an “implementation-oriented policy”; (3) inclusion of diversified stakeholders in open standardization processes that facilitate consensus formation and the diffusion of developed standards; and (4) adopting a royalty-free to encourage third-party developers to implement proposed specifications and advance update of proposals. This single case analysis leads to the development and diffusion of common technological data specifications, which are the driving factors for innovation utilizing big data generated by exchanging data of various origins.
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