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Conventionally, standards are considered as a governance tool in the production system in a one-directional and hierarchical relationship between foreign Trans-National Corporations (TNCs) or global buyers on one hand and subsidiaries and producers on the other. They were considered as transmitting necessary specifications of goods - codified knowledge - to the producers. Despite the fact that this process begins with a one-way power relationship and associated flow of knowledge and standards, such one-way flows may become consolidated into two-way inter-linkages when power balances themselves reverse with the development of collective capability in catching-up countries.
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