ISO 9000 certification and the bottom line: a comparative study of the profitability of Basque region companies
Registrations to the ISO 9000 standard have grown rapidly in recent years with 343,643 certificates in 150 countries at the start of 2000, a growth of 71,769 on the previous year, of which 23,900 were in Europe. This suggests that there is a wide‐spread belief in the business benefits of ISO 9000 accreditation. However, failure to realise business performance improvement in practice could have a negative effect on the future credibility of quality certification and lead to ISO 9000 eventually becoming just another failed management panacea. Although there is much research describing implementation of ISO 9000 quality systems, there is little empirical research that examines whether ISO 9000 is linked to improvement in audited financial performance. This paper contributes to closing this gap in the literature by comparing the audited financial performance of 400 accredited and 400 non‐accredited Basque firms over a period of five years.
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