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Shedding Light on the Causation Between ISO 9001 and Improved Business Performance

Dick, Gavin P.M., Heras?Saizarbitoria, Iñaki, Casadesus, Marti (2008) Shedding Light on the Causation Between ISO 9001 and Improved Business Performance. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 28 (7). pp. 687-708. ISSN 0144-3577. (doi:10.1108/01443570810881811) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:22188)

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Purpose. The adoption of ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems Standard has proven to be a persistent and growing phenomenon in services and manufacturing, yet to date little research has been done that can indicate how far improved business performance can be attributed to it rather than counterintuitive causes.

Methodology. The paper examines the evidence for the causal links between quality management system certification and improved performance in the empirical literature. A method is proposed for testing how far performance improvement can be attributed to quality management system certification and how far attribution to other causes applies. This method is illustrated on a longitudinal study and then utilised to interpret the findings of other longitudinal studies.

Findings. It is concluded that although there is some evidence that can indicate that quality management system certification has some causal influence on business performance, there is also evidence for the existence of a substantial mechanism whereby better performing firms self-select to adopt certification. Possible causes for this mechanism are discussed.

Implications for research. The existence of a self-select mechanism has profound implications for interpreting business performance achievements associated with quality management system certification because the benefits found may well be inflated by its presence. The authors suggest that richer theory is needed that can incorporate bi-directional influences and new research is needed to explore the underlying causes of adoption selection effects.

Value of paper. The paper provides researchers with a method for testing and discussing causation influences on results. It provides evidence that a substantial part of the association found in the research on quality management system certification and business benefits may be due to counterintuitive causes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/01443570810881811
Uncontrolled keywords: performance management; ISO 9000 series; cause and effect analysis; quality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Kent Business School (do not use)
Depositing User: Suzanne Duffy
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2009 14:53 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Dick, Gavin P.M..

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