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ISO 9000 maintenance in service organisations: tales from two companies

Roslina Ab Wahid (Department of Management Systems, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Waikato, New Zealand Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
James Corner (Department of Management Systems, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Waikato, New Zealand)
Peck‐Leong Tan (Department of Economics, Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Waikato, New Zealand Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 2 August 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate and to highlight the way the quality system is being managed and the outcomes in terms of changes and improvements obtained by the two companies as a result of its maintenance approach. By studying how ISO 9000 is being maintained in the service organisations, it provides useful insights into the unique ways quality systems are managed and the aspects that are important to successful and effective maintenance of ISO 9000 quality system.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach as described by Eisenhardt and Yin, is used for this study. A total of 30 face‐to‐face interviews were conducted over a period of 13 weeks with top management, middle management, lower management in charge of operations and quality, and the management representative responsible for the implementation of ISO 9000 in the organisation. To support the findings of the interviews, 300 questionnaires were distributed to employees of both companies. ISO 9000 and quality documents were also reviewed as part of the data gathering process for the study.

Findings

Based on the interview results, there are similarities and differences in how the two case companies maintain their ISO 9000 in terms of how they view and manage the aspects that are closely associated with ISO 9000 maintenance. It was found that the company with higher top management commitment and better internal communication has better‐motivated employees. Regardless of the length of time being certified to ISO 9000, the firm which incorporates a higher level of human resource aspects such as reward, recognition and empowerment into its quality system experiences higher employee enthusiasm and commitment to the maintenance of the quality system which resulted in better employee participation and involvement compared to the one that did not.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to the body of knowledge in the field of quality management systems during the maintenance phase where such work is still limited, especially in the service sector.

Keywords

Citation

Ab Wahid, R., Corner, J. and Tan, P. (2011), "ISO 9000 maintenance in service organisations: tales from two companies", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 735-757. https://doi.org/10.1108/02656711111150823

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited