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Understanding ISO’s 9001 Benefits and Research through an Operations Strategy Framework

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Author(s): Borut Rusjan | Pavel Castka

Journal: Managing Global Transitions
ISSN 1581-6311

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 097;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: ISO 9001 | quality assurance | conformity | standards

ABSTRACT
Despite the success that the ISO 9001 standard has achieved it has been extensively criticized and empirical studies have shown controversial results about its impact on performance. Our conceptual study was motivated by the mentioned dilemma about iso 9001 effectiveness, and the controversy that this dilemma raises in literature on the one hand and on the other by almost exponential growth of certifications among companies world-wide. It is our opinion that in order to understand results related to ISO 9001 implementation we need to take a step back from empirical research and instead try to analyze iso conceptually by taking into account also the results of empirical studies implemented in the past. The purpose of the paper is to clarify the purpose of implementation of ISO 9001 and, in relation to this purpose, to analyze different possible benefits resulting from its implementation. In order to achieve this purpose our goal is to analyze the criticism of the old ISO 9001:1994 by using a specific framework of the operations strategy theory. The paper emphasises that in accordance with its conformance purpose, ISO 9001 is successful in building conformance capability and that by using ISO 9001 practices companies can also benefit in relation to production economics through improved process efficiency and to other competitive capabilities. It also emphasises that empirical results expected from ISO 9001 implementation are strategy contingent and therefore this should be taken into account in designing empirical studies about ISO’s benefits.
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