Certification to the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems Standard has proven to be a persistent and growing phenomenon in services and manufacturing, yet to date little attempt has been made to explore how performance results in cross‐sectional research may be attributed to different causation mechanisms and how their influences may alter over time. This paper aims to fill this gap.
The paper defines four possible causation mechanisms before searching and analysing the empirical literature on quality management system certification to ISO 9001 and business performance for evidence of their causal influence.
From the analyses, it is found that the benefit that can safely be attributed to the treatment‐effect of ISO 9001 accreditation is lower waste; while the benefits of lower costs and better quality are less likely unless motives for adoption are developmental rather than externally driven. From an analysis of longitudinal studies a strong selection‐mechanism is found where more profitable firms have a greater propensity to adopt than less profitable firms. From the finding propositions are developed to show how the influence of these mechanisms change over time.
Gavin P.M. Dick (Kent Business School, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK)
Citation: Gavin P.M. Dick, (2009) “Exploring performance attribution: The case of quality management standards adoption and business performance“, International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 58 Iss: 4, pp.311 – 328