Investigating IT Standardization Process Through the Lens of Theory of Communicative Action

  • Karthikeyan UmapathyEmail author
  • Sandeep Purao
  • John W. Bagby
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 258)


Developing standards is a social practice wherein experts engage in discussions to evaluate design solutions. In this paper, we analyze processes followed to develop SOAP standard from the theory of communicative action perspective, which argues that individuals engaged in social discourse would exhibit five possible actions: instrumental, strategic, normatively regulated, dramaturgical, and communicative. Our findings reveal that participants in standardization processes engage in communicative action most frequently with aim of reaching mutual understanding and consensus, engage in strategic action when influencing others towards their intended goals, engage in instrumental action when taking responsibility for solving technical issues, engage in dramaturgical action when expressing their opinions, and engage in normatively regulated action when performing roles they assumed. Our analysis indicates that 60 % of activities performed are consensus oriented whereas the rest are success oriented. This paper provides empirical evidence for Habermasian view of social actions occurring in the standardization process setting.


Standards Standardization processes Habermas Communicative action 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karthikeyan Umapathy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sandeep Purao
    • 2
  • John W. Bagby
    • 3
  1. 1.University of North FloridaJacksonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Bentley UniversityWalthamUSA
  3. 3.Penn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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