In recent years, an increasing number of organizations are obtaining accreditation offered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Although ISO accreditation may reflect an organization's pursuit of a quality-focused business strategy and a commitment to quality management practices, ISO accreditation may merely be a response to external (customers') demands for quality certification. This study investigates whether ISO accredited companies differ from non-ISO accredited companies in business strategy and in their implementation of quality management practices. It also investigates differences between ISO accredited and non-ISO accredited companies in their reporting of quality in physical and financial terms and traditional performance measures. Based on a mail questionnaire sent to a sample of ISO and non-ISO accredited New Zealand manufacturing companies, the results showed a significant difference in the business strategy pursued by the two groups, with ISO accredited companies regarding quality as more important than cost efficiencies. However, there was no significant difference in the quality management practices of ISO accredited and non-ISO accredited companies, except in the areas of process improvement and quality measurement. There was also little evidence of differences in performance reporting systems between ISO accredited and non-ISO accredited companies.
Management Accounting Research – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 1997
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