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Senior management perspectives and ISO 9000 effectiveness: an empirical research

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While ISO 9000 certification is increasingly becoming 'a passport for business' in the marketplace, its effectiveness in enhancing an organization's performance is highly controversial. In recent years, some researchers have argued that the effectiveness of ISO 9000 is highly dependent on management's attitudes to and understanding of the standard. Specifically, we conducted empirical research in the electronics industry to study how the 'objectives of gaining ISO certification', the 'attitudes to implementation' and 'confidence of understanding the standard' among senior management affect the development of a quality management system (QMS) and subsequently organizational performance. We found that although senior management's confidence in their understanding of the standard and quality management is the most influential factor for the development of their QMS and to the induction of changes in systems, it does not improve organizational performance. On the other hand, organizations that believe the ISO 9000 should be adopted for operational objectives and serve as a system foundation for operations achieve the best organizational performance. Our research suggests that ineffectiveness of the ISO 9000 is largely due to incorrect management objectives and expectations from the standard.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Management, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China 2: Department of Decision Sciences and Managerial Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, NT, Hong Kong, PR China 3: Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, PR China

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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