The Emerging Institutionalization of Global Internet of Things Governance: A Network Approach

Jaewon R. Choi, Wenhong Chen


This study empirically investigates the institutionalization process of burgeoning global Internet of things (IoT) governance from a network perspective. Previous work privileges nation-states as the dominant agents shaping global ICT governance organizations at the expense of the growing presence of private sector actors. Meanwhile, despite its growing usefulness, past governance research tends to use network as a metaphor rather than a method. Addressing these critical gaps, we incorporate a network approach to institutions involved in IoT technical standard making to advance a networked understanding of global IoT governance. An analysis of comembership networks of four major IoT international organizations (i.e., Open Connectivity Foundation, oneM2M, Thread Group, and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) in 2017 and 2018 identified powerful private sector players shaping global IoT governance, the emerging trend of power consolidation at the core of the network, and growing industrial and regional diversity that would further complicate the formation and implementation of regulatory policy at both the global and national levels.


Internet of things (IoT), ICT governance, comembership network, institutional theory

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