Ten arguments against ISO 9000

John Seddon (John Seddon is managing director of Vanguard Consulting of Buckingham, England. He is also the author of I Want You to Cheat: The Unreasonable Guide to Service & Quality in Organizations and has recently released a CD‐ROM called Change Management Thinking)

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 0960-4529

Publication date: 1 August 1997


“Criticizing quality is like criticizing the Queen Mother” according to one contributor to John Seddon’s research for this attack on ISO 9000 ‐ commonly viewed as the quality standard to aspire to but, in Seddon’s view, a process which actively handicaps those companies which adopt it, and takes them further away from “quality” as it should be understood today. Lays down ten major arguments against the ISO standard, with case examples of what happened as a result of implementation and how those outcomes impacted on customer‐defined quality. Gives some background to the development of the standard, and argues that it is, at best, inappropriate and, at worst, a serious threat to organizational performance.



Seddon, J. (1997), "Ten arguments against ISO 9000", Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 7 No. 4, pp. 162-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/09604529710172962

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