The purpose of this paper is to examine perceptions of the implementation of the ISO 9001:2000 standard in the food sector in Greece.
Research was conducted in 97 Greek food companies certified to ISO 9001:2000, using the questionnaire method and aimed at examining the reasons for certification, the difficulties in implementing the standard, the benefits of certification and their relationships. Exploratory Factor Analysis and Multiple Linear Regression Analysis was applied to define the main constructs of reasons‐benefits‐difficulties and to explore their relationships.
Results showed that the major reasons for certification, unlike benefits, concern firstly the internal business environment and then the external one and no particular difficulties were observed during the standard implementation. Achieving internal (external) benefits is positively affected by the existence of internal (external) reasons and negatively affected by the difficulties to meet the standard's requirements.
The present study is based on subjective data that refer to a short ISO 9001:2000 certification period. A more thorough research on food companies that have been certified for a long period using data coming from their internal environment, such as executives, managers, employees, would offer more information about ISO 9001:2000 and would reveal its impact on business performance.
The results of the study will be of great use to food companies that have not been certified yet, particularly in light of the new challenge they face with the ISO 22000 standard.
The present study is exclusively focused on companies in the Greek food sector in order to draw information about the revised ISO 9001:2000 standard.
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