The advocates of ISO 9000 claim substantial benefits from the system and often call it the entry key to TQM. They emphasise that ISO 9000 offers a shift in quality thinking from final inspection to more modern quality approaches such as process management; system approach; customer focus; and continual improvement. ISO 9000 is considered to be an effective tool for providing controls to ensure quality of production and delivery; and to reduce waste; downtime; and labour inefficiency. The major benefits experienced by organisations implementing ISO 9000 include increased productivity and efficiency; quality improvement; greater customer satisfaction; increased awareness and commitment of employees; and a competitive edge that can lead to a greater market share (e.g. Gotzamani and Tsiotras; 2001; McLachlan; 1996; Williams; 1997; Quazi and Padibjo; 1998).
The opponents maintain that the standardisers have ignored the contemporary research on organisations and that the standard is based on management principles; which are out-of-date. The standard; for example; is driven by documentation and not organisational behaviour. Furthermore; it is questioned if the standard is at all capable of improving the quality (Zuckerman; 1994; Sanders; 1994; Singels et al.; 2001). Seddon (1997) called the standard an â€śeconomical diseaseâ€ť and stated that ISO 9000 encourages organisations to act in ways that make things worse for their customers; and is a step backward rather than forward.
Using the different research strategies and integrating the results from other related studies; this paper was able to provide a more comprehensive picture on ISO 9000 and QMS and to explain the conditions under which ISO 9000 is likely to have positive effects on organisational performance and employee development.
Keywords: ISO 9001; Quality management systems; conditions for sucess