Local skirmishes in the contruction of (global) digital business communication technologies

Veronique Guilloux, Joanne Locke, Alan D. Lowe

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


This paper applies Latour’s 1992 translation map as a device to explore the development of and recent conflict between two data standards for the exchange of business information – EDIFACT and XBRL. Our research is focussed in France, where EDIFACT is well established and XBRL is just emerging. The alliances supporting both standards are local and global. The French/European EDIFACT is promulgated through the United Nations while a consortium of national jurisdictions and companies has coalesced around the US initiated XBRL International (XII). We suggest cultural differences pose a barrier to co-operation between the two networks. Competing data standards create the risk of switching costs. The different technical characteristics of the standards are identified as raising implications for regulators and users. A key concern is the lack of co-ordination of data standard production and the mechanisms regulatory agencies use to choose platforms for electronic data submission.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2008
EventTwenty Ninth International Conference on Information Systems - Paris
Duration: 1 Jan 20081 Jan 2008


ConferenceTwenty Ninth International Conference on Information Systems


  • business data standards
  • XBRL
  • eb-XML
  • actor network theory
  • France


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