Building a performance measurement internal auditing framework for the ISO 9001 quality management system

Gutierrez Alcantara, Flor Monica (2013) Building a performance measurement internal auditing framework for the ISO 9001 quality management system. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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During the last two decades, ISO 9000 standards have become one of the most important management approaches in the world. Currently, the standards are used by more than one million companies in more than 170 countries. ISO 9001 audits are the most widely used performance measurement (PM) method to assess ISO 9001 quality management systems (QMS). However, in recent years the effectiveness of ISO 9001 quality auditing has been questioned for: (1) only focusing on compliance; (2) failing to detect problems in products and processes; (3) failing to predict QMS failures; and (4) failing to provide added value to organisations.

To overcome these problems, two main conversations have taken place in the literature. The first advocates changing the current compliance focus of auditing for a performance oriented one, to promote improvements in business processes and the QMS. The second theme seeks to develop different methods, guidelines, tools and techniques to improve auditing practice. In order to generate a change of focus from compliance towards improvement, some recent research has also advocated incorporating concepts and techniques from the PM field into the ISO 9000 world. However, there have been no substantial previous attempts to provide internal quality auditing with a performance focus, which was the aim of this research. Hence, this thesis intends to establish how ISO 9001:2008 certified organisations can better measure their QMS performance using internal audits.

In order to provide answers to this question, an empirical study using mixed methods research was conducted. Firstly, the current state of the art of the ISO 9001:2008 internal auditing process was determined using a mixed methods study, including two surveys of 272 ISO 9001 experts and 25 interviews. This allowed the identification of the current problems that ISO 9001 certified organisations face when conducting audits, as well as the impacts on the performance of the QMS due to deficient internal auditing. Secondly, using the statistical technique of path analysis, a model identifying the relationships between internal audit problems and their impacts on QMS performance was developed. The model indicated that an intricate network of individual and organisational deficits link auditing and QMS performance. Finally, ‘Audit+’ a detailed and comprehensive procedure for conducting ISO 9001:2008 internal audits with a focus on the performance of the QMS was developed. The procedure was thoroughly tested and validated by a further mixed methods study, including three in-depth case studies and a survey of 174 ISO 9001 auditors. Although some minor changes were recommended, the results of the Audit+ validation were encouraging, showing that PM approaches can be successfully incorporated into the ISO 9001 world, to help organisations to better measure their QMS performance.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Tannock, J.D.
Tan, K.H.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 13353
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2013 12:28
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2017 06:38

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