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Developing a knowledge management policy for ISO 9001: 2015

John P. Wilson (Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
Larry Campbell (KPMG Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 11 July 2016




International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001: 2015 quality management systems places an obligation on organizations to consider the role of organizational knowledge as a resource. The purpose of this paper is to systematically relate the key fundamentals of knowledge management to the seven quality management principles of ISO 9001: 2015. It is the first to consider this relationship.


The paper traces the history of quality standards and the background to the inclusion of an organizational knowledge clause in ISO 9001: 2015. It then systematically considers the seven quality management principles in relation to knowledge management principles.


The core elements of the knowledge management standard are incorporated with the organizational knowledge clause. Explicit and tacit knowledge are addressed by the ISO standard. Knowledge and its management will become increasingly important in organizations driven by ISO certification requirements.

Research limitations/implications

ISO 9001: 2015 was released in September 2015 which means that organizations have yet to apply the organizational knowledge clause. This paper is a conceptual one which needs to be complemented with empirical research.

Practical implications

This paper identifies the role of knowledge management principles as they apply to ISO 9001: 2015 and the seven quality management principles. More than 1.1 million organizations are certified to ISO 9001, plus many others who use the standard informally. Those involved with organizational quality will need to understand the role of knowledge in the organization.

Social implications

Quality services and products need to be underpinned with strategic knowledge management.


This paper is the first to discuss knowledge management in relation to the seven quality management principles which assist the development of policy for quality management.



Wilson, J.P. and Campbell, L. (2016), "Developing a knowledge management policy for ISO 9001: 2015", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 829-844.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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