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Beyond certification: The maintenance of ISO 9000 in Malaysian service organisations

This research is an in-depth study of the quality management systems of two Malaysian "government-linked companies" (GLCs) classified as being in the service industry. Both are mature holders of ISO 9000 certification and the research focuses on how they have gone about maintaining and improving their quality management system (QMS), the extent to which they have succeeded, and what management and employees of the companies feel have been critical success factors and problems to be overcome. A case study approach is used for this study. The study has been comprehensive in its data collection with 30 individual face-to-face interviews with top management, middle management, lower management in charge of operations and quality, the management representative responsible for the implementation of ISO 9000 in the case companies being conducted, 300 questionnaires being distributed to employees of both companies, and a thorough review of ISO 9000 and other quality documents carried out. The results of the study showed that the two companies maintain their ISO 9000 based on the requirements of the standard. However, to support the technical requirements and in order to maintain the quality system more effectively and strive for excellence, the study highlights the need for integrating the human resource aspects of quality management into the quality system. Critical success factors of ISO 9000 maintenance identified are top management commitment, employee involvement, recognition and reward, teamwork, continuous improvement, and quality culture. The main problems associated with maintaining ISO 9000 faced by the companies are lack of cooperation and commitment from people, lack of knowledge and training, lack of communication, and lack of awareness and understanding on ISO 9000. Measures outlined to overcome the problems include closer interaction between people, training of management and employee on ISO 9000 and related subjects, skill and competency, and better communication. The study has identified lessons to be drawn by similar companies facing similar challenges and those striving for excellence. It has provided insights into the improvements and changes brought by the continued maintenance of the ISO 9000 after certification. It has also added to the knowledge on aspects of organisational development for service companies and casting new light on various theories put forward in the quality management literature. Further, the development of a framework for effective ISO 9000 maintenance in service organisations will enable it to be tested and compared with other industry frameworks in future studies.
Type of thesis
Ab Wahid, R. (2010). Beyond certification: The maintenance of ISO 9000 in Malaysian service organisations (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4936
University of Waikato
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