Quality management standard and innovation: a multiple-case study in Luxembourg

Lead author: Cesare Rillo       Year: 2014       Methodology: Case study

Publication Abstract

Innovation and quality are both important aspects of business excellence. ISO 9000 is a well-known quality management standard but its relationship with innovation is not completely understood. Previous quantitative studies have shown that ISO 9000 is positively correlated with technological innovation (product and process) in the manufacturing sector, while the effect of ISO 9000 on service innovation is positive only when considering non-technological innovation (organisational and marketing). Adopting a qualitative methodology, the current study investigates simultaneously the adoption and the impact of ISO 9000 on innovation in high-tech manufacturing firms and in low-knowledge-intensive services. The units of analysis are selected by adopting a simple coarsened exact matching model to increase the external reliability of the study. Innovation is investigated before and after the adoption of ISO 9000. The results suggest that the client focus and the formalisation of appropriate business practices (ISO 9000 requirements) impact on the innovation propensity. In the opinion of most of the interviewees, ISO 9000 certification, especially in the versions after the year 2000, does not limit technical and non-technical innovation. As some companies refused to participate in the study, potential selection bias suggests that further research could be required.


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  • Publication type:

    • Journal article
  • Other authors:

    • Cesare Rillo
  • Countries:

    • Luxembourg