But it’s certainly not Scottish. It’s our old friend the ISO management standard.
GHS Marshall wrote his PhD thesis, Evaluating management standards: empirical research into the Scottish Quality Management System (SQMS), on them at the University of Stirling. Among his conclusions were,
“The literature research into ISO 9000 highlighted a significant body of research that suggested that a considerable number of organisations that had adopted the Standard had done so as a result of direct or perceived external pressure to do so. The research further suggested that organisations that are forced to adopt ISO 9000 are unlikely to derive the same benefits as those organisations that embark upon the process with the aim of improving their performance (Ferguson, (1994); Juran, (1994); Barnes; (1998), Brown, et al, (1998); Grint, (1997); Jones, et al, (1997); Leung, et al, (1999); Seddon, (2000); van der Wiele, et al, (1997), (2000), (2000c); Manoochehr and Kehoe, (2000); Withers and Ebrahimpour, (2001)). This research into the SQMS organisations provides a unique example of a Management Standard that was unilaterally imposed upon a dependent population to a degree whereby around a third of the population relied upon achieving SQMS in order to survive and therefore had no choice in the matter. The results of this research suggest that, notwithstanding this dependence on achieving the Standard, tangible benefits did not accrue to these organisations, the majority of which it would appear pay lip service to the aims of the Standard to satisfy the auditors. This research therefore corroborates many of the research findings for ISO 9000 and makes a very important contribution to the argument that the compulsory imposition of a Management Standard is likely to be counter-productive.”
Will the SNP government provide a lead and give us freedom from these standards?