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ISO 9000: business as usual or radical change?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Quality Technology and Management. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4040-8302
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The ISO 9000 series of standards was written to provide guidelines to assist organisations in implementing and operating a Quality Management System (QMS). With hundreds of thousands of certified companies around the world, ISO 9000 has become the most widely accepted and soughtafter quality management system. The aim of this research is to contribute to the improvement of quality management systems by increasing the understanding of the practices of implementing, operating and auditing ISO 9000. More specifically, the research aims to identify and explain the conditions under which ISO 9000 is likely to have positive effects on organisational performance and employee development.

The research was performed in three stages. First, an initial questionnaire survey was aimed at exploring the motives, implementation factors and benefits of ISO 9000. Second, case studies investigated and evaluated the practice of implementing and operating a QMS within an organisational context. Third, an auditing survey provided knowledge about auditing practices and about how the certification audits and auditors were perceived by the certified organisations.

The value of ISO 9000 differs between organisations and depends on several organisational and external conditions, such as motivation for ISO 9000 implementation, maturity level of quality management, implementation strategy, certification audits, and involvement of people. Organisations lacking motivation to manage and improve their quality system and placing too much value on the certificate limit their efforts to satisfying of the minimum necessary requirements. ISO 9000 describes what requirements need to be met, not how they are to be met. Consequently, organisations may claim that their processes already comply with the standard and do not change anything in their practice. Hence, it is possible to become certified without changing anything in the organisation. Organisations may also have different maturity levels of quality management. For some organisations, ISO 9000 requirements may mean a radical change; for others, it is just the usual way of running the business. The maturity level determines to what extent organisations can standardise the practice or practise the standard. Not without importance are also certification audits, which under the right conditions can provide valuable input to the QMS

effectiveness and improvement. Finally, to achieve positive effects from the QMS all employees, from the top to the bottom, need to be involved in the quality work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Institutionen för konstruktions- och produktionsteknik , 2006. , 97 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 997
, Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, 100
Keyword [en]
ISO 9000, Quality Management System (QMS), quality control, quality standard
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7279ISBN: 91-85497-02-9OAI: diva2:22303
Public defence
2006-03-03, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-09-06 Created: 2006-09-06 Last updated: 2015-01-19Bibliographically approved

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