Notice & Comment

Symposia

Notice & Comment

The Authors Respond, by JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy

Pierre Larouche is right, but it is not just legal scholars: almost everyone who encounters the vast (but rarely noticed) world of private standard setting ends up like the blind men and the elephant of the fable. Most scholars of standardization, and even standards setters themselves, can only describe those parts with which they have […]

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Private Standards and Public Governance, by Cary Coglianese

Law is often thought to provide the bedrock of order in modern society. But as important as law can be, social and economic order also emerges from a host of non-legal norms and non-governmental institutions. In their new book, JoAnne Yates and Craig Murphy trace the history of non-legal institutions dedicated expressly to producing order: […]

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Review by Justus Baron, Northwestern University

JoAnn Yates and Craig Murphy compiled a compelling and enjoyable history of private standardization from the late 19th to the earliest 21st century. I read the book from the perspective of an empirical economist who studies today’s Standards Development Organizations (SDO). Economic analysis is often oblivious of the history of the organizations it studies, and […]

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Engineering Rules, a Review by Peter L. Strauss

“Engineering Rules” is a clever triple entendre, evoking rules (the industrial standards that are its concern), the emergence of engineering (the profession largely responsible for their creation) and the consensus processes developed over time (the engineering) by which they have been created.  The book is an extraordinarily detailed history of the movement from national to […]

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Engineering Rules – A Major Contribution to the Early History of International Standardization, by Jorge L. Contreras

JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy’s new book Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting Since 1880 (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2019) offers a comprehensive and detailed institutional history of international standardization from its origins in the nineteenth century through the present day. Especially with regard to its treatment of early- and mid-twentieth century standardization efforts and […]

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Engineer Rulers?, by Nina Mendelson

“Engineering Rules” by Joanne Yates and Craig Murphy recounts stirring tales from the noble brotherhood of engineers, on a mission to improve the world through standard-setting. The engineers tackle nonuniform screw threads, creating the first national screw thread standard (the appealingly named “Whitworth thread”), address railway cars of varying sizes and shapes, and devise the […]

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When IBR Meets APA, by Alan B. Morrison

Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880 [1] is a fountain of information about the origins, use, and changes in the world of standard setting.  To even the casual reader, it makes a convincing case that those who started convening groups of knowledgeable volunteers have performed a very useful service by creating standards for many […]

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The Duality of Innovation and Standards

In their detailed history, Engineering Rules, Professors JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy describe some of the people and processes that have featured prominently in standard-setting movements from the 1880s forward. The authors’ admiration for them is clear, as they describe the personal commitment of organizers and committee participants who travel, sometimes on their own […]

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Engineering Rules: Chronicling the Development of A Third Way

Markets vs. Regulation Many of us think about regulation in somewhat dichotomous terms, namely as a choice between free markets and government regulation.  Under the standard view, the market optimally provides many goods and services.  In the competition of various firms pricing their goods and services, the “hidden” hand” of the market will lead to […]

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Health, Development, and the International Standardization Process

With Engineering Rules, JoAnne Yates and Craig Murphy have contributed an important volume analyzing the history of standardization generally, and with tailored historical insights for individual standard-setting bodies, consortia, and entrepreneurs.  The compilation, identification, and preservation of new primary materials will no doubt be of enormous aid to future scholars. They are to be congratulated […]

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Introduction to Book Symposium: JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy’s Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880

I’m delighted to announce that over the next week and a half, we’re hosting an online symposium on JoAnne Yates and Craig N. Murphy‘s fascinating new book, Engineering Rules: Global Standard Setting since 1880. Yates is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and a Professor of Work and Organization Studies and Managerial Communication at the MIT Sloan School of […]

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Procedural Politicking and Auer Deference

Rachel Potter’s new book Bending the Rules: Procedural Politicking in the Bureaucracy is an absolute must-read for those interested in agency rulemaking and in administrative law and regulatory practice more generally. As the title suggests, the book explores empirically and theoretically how agency officials — both career civil servants and political appointees — leverage procedural […]