The main objective of the study ‘Benefits of implementing management system standards: A case study of certified companies in the Pearl River Delta, China’, (To, Lee, Yu, 2012) is to examine the perceived benefits companies get from management system certification and most significantly to understand the extent of the benefits as a function of the range of management system standards an organisation is certified to.
The hypothesis the research looked to address was if ‘companies with different combinations of systems including ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, are significantly different in performance outcomes respective to corporate performance, quality performance and marketing performance’.
Questionnaires were received from 154 companies certified to a variety of different management system standards. All were certified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and/or OHSAS 18001, with a small number also certified to ISO 22000 and ISO 27001.
Organisations came from a variety of sectors, most significantly manufacturers but a strong number from the service sector and also government departments and utilities.
The questionnaire asked the certified organisations about their perceived performance; this was then broken down into their perceived corporate, quality and marketing performance.
‘The analysis indicates that there were significant differences in perceived benefits between companies that were registered to ISO 9001 only and those registered to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Companies have obtained significant improvements in corporate, quality and marketing performance when they have implemented ISO 9001 as well as ISO 14001, probably due to the synergy effect and a fundamental change in organizational culture’.
The report draws the conclusion that, ‘The results suggest that the implementation of multiple management systems can bring additional benefits to companies. However, the implementation of multiple management systems inevitably leads to more complexity and increases management costs’.
Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macao SAR, People’s Republic of China (To, Yu), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, People’s Republic of China (Lee)