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The scope of e-business standards today goes beyond the level of infrastructure and incorporates broader issues concerning business processes. e-Business standards are increasingly developed via open initiatives, in order to counter lethargic, formal standardization efforts. While previous research has identified factors that motivate industry standards, little is known about the processes by which a standard emerges. Using an inductive, process-centric research approach we examine the process of standards development for the ebXML standard. Results indicate that standards development involves requirements analysis, design, internal validation, and external validation; however, the sequence of activities differs between business-process-focused standards and technology-focused standards. For business-process-focused standards the inherent uncertainty causes the process to iterate and focus on requirements refinement; technology focused standards exhibit a higher level of structure and tend to have lower levels of iteration that are design focused. These findings allow us to align standards development and strategic decision making, a departure from the typical "development" orientation used in the standards literature. The finding especially holds out for business-process- centric standards. Finally, this study reveals the importance of "openness" as a contributor to iterations evidenced in the process patterns related to standards development.