ABSTRACT

Over the past twenty five years organizations registered to the ISO 9000 series have consistently expanded. But there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the true effects of the certification for this quality management standards on the performance of the firms certified. This study empirically examines various aspects of ISO 9001 that affect the performances of ISO 9001 certified firms. We adopt a holistic framework of Nair and Prajogo(2009) that links the motivation for implementing ISO 9001 certification, internalization of practices underlying ISO 9001 standards and business level performance. And we extend the Nair and Prajogo(2009) framework by adding firms’ preparation for and feedback for the certification, certification maintenance period as additional factors affect the performances of ISO 9001 certified firms. A path model is developed that link various aspects of ISO 9001 certifications mentioned above and firm performance. To test the research hypotheses of the study, we use survey data from 169 ISO 9001 certified manufacturing and service organizations in Korea and apply partial least square(PLS) method. We find that internalization of ISO 9001 standards is positively associated with operational performance, and operational performance, in turn, is positively associated with financial performance of certified firms. The results also suggest that internalization of practices underlying ISO 9001 standards is affected by external and internal motivation for the certification and firms’ attitude of coping with the certification. Additionally we find that firms with internal motivation for implementing ISO 9001 certification take a more positive attitude regarding preparation for and feedback to the certification than firms with external motivation for the certification. We cannot find the evidence that certification maintenance period is a factor that affect internalization of ISO standards and performance of certified firms.

KEYWORD

ISO 9001, ISO 9000, quality management, internalization, performance, partial least square.

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