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The Emperor’s New Clothes is a recurring theme with ISO management standards.

Researchers, Bozena Poksinska and Jens J.Dahlgaard, published ISO 9001:2000 – The emperor’s new clothes? describing their investigation of three companies.

“The managers interviewed had difficulties linking organisational improvements with the QMS. It was found that ISO 9001 requirements weren’t a reason for making improvements.

The QMS helps to keep order in an organisation and this may affect quality to a small degree. But ISO 9000 is not a “cause” of some considerable, measurable changes.

“If I were to be honest, I think, there are not many benefits, which I see from ISO. Some things became really good, but I can’t say it was because of ISO. It is because we have thought and recognised that this needs to be done…”(Quality manager, GAMMA ).”

More gently than some, these authors reached the conclusion that ISO 9001 really wasn’t much good for improving quality.  While they noted peer-pressure as the main reason for gaining certification, they did not enquire more deeply into the ethics and role of marketplace coercion for the inspection cartel.

How long must this thing go on?

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