Purpose – The aim of the study is to investigate and to understand the practice of implementing and operating the QMS in an organisational context, providing an analysis of the way ISO 9001:2000 was implemented and operated and focusing on identifying factors which have negatively or positively influenced the effects of the quality management system (QMS). Design/methodology/approach – Three case studies of small organisations were examined. The methodological approach was based on Porras and Robertson's model. The data collection methods included interviews, a questionnaire survey of all employees and document studies. Findings – ISO 9001:2000 was implemented and operated with minimum effort and little change was experienced. QMS was not perceived as a tool for managing processes, but as a tool for handling documentation. Consequently, this was reflected in the benefits achieved. Despite the external benefits which followed from obtaining the certificates, only minor internal benefits were found. Internal motivation, engaged and trained employees, a competent quality manager, committed CEO and development‐oriented auditors were identified as critical, influencing the effects from ISO 9000. In general, in the way ISO 9001:2000 was implemented and operated many opportunities for improvement were lost. Research limitations/implications – The choice of small organisations for the case studies has important implications for the results. Small organisations often lack resources, which limits the initiatives that they can take. Practical implications – The QMS and its effects are not determined by the ISO 9001 requirements, but by the organisational context and the way the system is implemented and operated. Originality/value – The paper provides an explanation why organisations achieve very different results from ISO 9001 implementation. It also shows that certification bodies may have an important role for the effectiveness of the QMS.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 1, 2006
Keywords: ISO 9000 series; Quality management; Case studies; Small enterprises; Critical success factors
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