A fascinating overview of an extremely important but too often neglected subject, namely business standards and the critical role they have played and continue to play in both the national and global economy. What makes this study especially valuable is its rich and detailed comparative and historical scope.
Nations use product standards, and manipulate them, for reasons othen than practical use or safety. The Soviets once cultivated standards to isolate themselves. In the United States, codes and standards are often used to favor home industries over external competition, and to favor some producers over others. Krislov compares and contrasts the United States, the EC, the forner Eastern bloc, and Japan, to link standard choice with political styles and to trace growing internationalization based on product efficiency criteria.
Krislov presents a detailed history of standards and also provides information on their economic and international implications. . . . Krislov emphasizes the American standards system and its institutions, but draws to institutional standards.
Hooray for Samuel Krislov's book on standardization. . . . Krislov's account of the evolution of standards might by itself make an excellent introduction to standardization in a course reading packet. Krislov is interested in the relationships among law, regulation, government, and organizations. He is concerned about bureaucratic inertia in official standards organizations. He favors voluntary industrial standards over outright regulation, and prefers performance standards (i.e., product capability requirements) over design standards (specifying the exact form of a product). He points out how standards boundaries have affected political alliances and created strong and lasting trade barriers.