An international comparison of the perceptions about the revised ISO 9000 quality system standards
Business and Law
The aim of the research reported in this paper is to assess national differences between the Netherlands, Germany and Australia on the relative value of the 2000 version of the ISO 9000 series of quality management system standards in comparison to the 1994 version. A total number of 5606 organisations (the Netherlands, 3606; Germany, 1000; Australia, 1000), which have all been certified to the ISO 9000 standard, responded to a questionnaire survey. Amongst the major findings are overall positive perceptions of the value of the ISO 9000 (2000) quality system standard and a consistently higher appreciation of the 2000 version compared to the 1994 version. Regarding the differences between the three countries, the major issues are: Today, Australian respondents are the least interested in the ISO 9000 quality system standard. The response rate is the lowest of the three countries involved in the study; the percentage of (general) managers within the response group is low; they perceive the least changes they had to make in relation to the conversion; and the conversion took less time. Dutch respondents still have a high level of interest in the ISO 9000 quality system standard. They show a high response rate. In addition, the level of general managers within the response group is high and they seem to perceive the quality system more as a general management system. German respondents are the most positive about the ISO 9000 quality system standard and expect more positive effects on various business aspects. These differences lead to the conclusion that the diffusion of the ISO 9000 standard follows its own routes in different countries.