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 U.S. 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.
Guilloux, Véronique; Locke, Joanne; and Lowe, Alan, "Local Skirmishes in the Construction of (Global) Digital Business Communication Technologies" (2008). ICIS 2008 Proceedings. 68.