Standardization  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Standardization (or standardisation) is the process of developing and agreeing upon technical standards. A standard is a document that establishes uniform engineering or technical specifications, criteria, methods, processes, or practices. Some standards are mandatory while others are voluntary. Some standards are voluntary and are available if one chooses to use them. Some are de facto standards, meaning a norm or requirement which has an informal but dominant status. Some standards are de jure, meaning formal legal requirements. Formal standards organizations, such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or the American National Standards Institute, are independent of the manufacturers of the goods for which they publish standards.

The goals of standardization can be to help with independence of single suppliers (commodification), compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality.

In social sciences, including economics, the idea of standardization is close to the solution for a coordination problem, a situation in which all parties can realize mutual gains, but only by making mutually consistent decisions. Standardization is defined as best technical application consentual wisdom inclusive of processes for selection in making appropriate choices for ratification coupled with consistent decisions for maintaining obtained standards. This view includes the case of "spontaneous standardization processes", to produce de facto standards.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Standardization" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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