One of the stated goals behind the formation of the International Organization for Standardization was to develop standards to facilitate international trade in goods and services. This goal has caused different country‐group trends in the diffusion of ISO certification. The purpose of this paper is to create a taxonomy of ISO 9000 certification diffusion in Europe.
The diffusion of ISO certificates in Europe was analyzed using the single linkage clustering algorithm. Then the features of each cluster were highlighted.
European nations were found to belong to three macro areas which differ for patterns of ISO 9000 certification diffusion: the constant growth area, the saturation area and the decline area.
The present study deals with European nations, focusing on ISO 9000 standards. Future research will be addressed toward the analysis of other standards in a wider geographical area in order to see if the results found for the European reality may be extended. In addition the outcomes of such analysis may be used to enhance the existing models for the diffusion of ISO 9000 certification.
The analysis of the evolution of the certification market may arouse the interest of both companies and certification bodies that, from this study, may gain an insight into the future possible demand of certification. Furthermore, this study can be interesting from a legislature point of view, providing an answer to a more general question: “What is the general life cycle of standards or regulations?”
The novelty of the paper is the clustering approach that allows the grouping of different nations according to similar diffusion dynamics.
Franceschini, F., Galetto, M., Maisano, D. and Mastrogiacomo, L. (2010), "Clustering of European countries based on ISO 9000 certification diffusion", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 558-575. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656711011043535Download as .RIS
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