The primary aim of the research in ‘A critical examination of the ability of ISO 9000 certification to lead to a competitive advantage’ (Curkovic, S., Pagell, M., 1999) is to examine the implications of ISO 9000 for quality management. Research was carried out over a six month period by interviews with personnel in 30 sites, owned by 22 different companies in mid-Western USA.
- ‘ISO 9000 does not have to be a paper-driven process that does not guarantee outcomes. We have found that companies who are willing to invest time and energy into doing the process right can and do gain significant benefits. However, companies who see certification as merely a game to get, to keep business will not reap additional benefits’.
- ‘ISO 9000 is not a complete TQM program, but it does contain important foundations for continuous improvement’.
- ‘ISO 9000 forces firms to measure things they may not have measured in the past. These measures are useful in both finding and solving problems’.
- ‘ISO 9000 requires training of all personnel in quality. Firms which use this time to train their employees in tools to assess quality and then then make improvements will have increased the value of one of their most important resources’.
The report’s conclusions are, ‘If well implemented, ISO 9000 can result in greater efficiencies, cost reductions and improved productivity.
‘The true commercial value associated with ISO 9000 can only be achieved when it is made consistent with a company’s strategic direction. This means using the ISO 9000 standards as a foundation for a much broader system such as TQM’.
- Curkovic, S., Pagell, M., (1999), ‘A critical examination of the ability of ISO 9000 certification to lead to a competitive advantage’, Journal of Quality Management, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 51-67.
Western Michigan University (Curkovic), Kansas State University (Pagell)