‘Best Practices of Selected Greek Organizations on Their Road to Business Excellence: The Contribution of the New ISO 9000:2000 Series of Standards‘ (Vouzas, Gotzamani, 2005) looks at how Greek organisations that have both the European Quality Award and ISO 9000 certification look to use the two together.
The research highlights some of the positive changes in versions of ISO 9000 (from 1994 to 2000). It shows that some organisations use the two schemes in a complementary manner to work together and others use them to achieve separate goals. It also shows that ISO 9000 ‘is an integral part of TQM, and that the combination of the two will lead them to organizational effectiveness through a holistic quality approach’.
The research was carried out to test the ideas that the 2000 version of ISO 9000 focused on customer satisfaction assurance rather than product quality assurance. From previous debate on the contribution of ISO 9000 to TQM, the research draws the conclusion that this is not relative to the standards. Moreover ‘the real benefits of the standards can be achieved only if the companies that implement them fully realise both their potential and their limits. ‘Certification alone – without the proper development and continuous improvement of a dynamic quality assurance system, continuously adapting to the variable external requirements – will not bring the positive results expected to provide the basis for TQM and business excellence’.
The research makes a very positive conclusion about how the evolution of ISO 9000: ‘if certification to the previous standard (ISO 9000:1994) was found to be a good first step towards TQM, the new standard (ISO 9000:2000) could be considered as the next step on their way towards business excellence’.
University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece – Vouzas, Gotzamani