Working Conditions and Effects of ISO 9000 in Six Furniture-Making Companies - Implementation and Processes
1998 (English)In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, Vol. 29, no 4, 225-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
What effects will the implementation of the quality standard ISO 9000 have regarding working conditions and competitive advantages? Which are the most important change process characteristics for assuring improved working conditions and other desired effects? These are the main questions behind this study of six furniture-making companies which implemented ISO 9000 during the period 1991-1994. The results show that customer requirement was the dominant goal to implement ISO 9000. Five of the six companies succeeded in gaining certification. The influence on working conditions was limited, but included better order and housekeeping, more positive attitudes towards discussing quality shortcomings, a few workplace improvements, work enrichment caused by additional tasks within the quality system and a better understanding of external customer demands. Among the negative effects were new, apparently meaningless, tasks for individual workers as well as more stress and more physically strenuous work. The effects on the companies included a decrease in external quality-related costs and improved delivery precision. The study confirms the importance for efficient change of the design of the change process, and identifies ‘improvement methodology’ as the most important process characteristic. Improved working conditions are enhanced by added relevant strategic goals and by a participative implementation process.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1998. Vol. 29, no 4, 225-232 p.
quality standard, change process, ergonomics, ISO 9000, furniture industry
Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-14671DOI: 10.1016/S0003-6870(97)00061-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-14671DiVA: diva2:24213