The standards world has radically changed over the past two decades, with an increased impact on business and society, although the essential characteristic of standardization, namely, to achieve the optimal order in a given context, remains unchanged (Kurihara: 2006). Subsequently, ‘standard studies’ is advocated as a new academic discipline to comprehensively analyze the problems of standardization and standards from a broader perspective, transcending predominantly technological concerns. Finally, the need to invest in standards research and education is highlighted.
Importance of standardization is growing. This might be reflected in a growth of standardization education (De Vries: 2002).
The ICES workshop 2007 findings indicate that enormous gap exist between the manifest and latent needs for standardization education. Few policy makers notice the contribution of standards to industry and society. Company managers lack awareness of the strategic importance of standards for their company in terms of market share and effectiveness of the organization.
The people who do the standards work, e.g. experts who participate in standards committees, mostly do so without any education or training. They are not aware that findings in standardization research and training in professional skills could enhance their work effectiveness considerably.
The workshop has reported that the gap can be bridged by cooperation between governments, industry, national standards bodies, academia and other educational institutions.
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