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The Impact of ISO 9001 Certification on Brazilian Firms’ Performance: Insights from Multiple Case Studies

Authors: Matheus Borges Carneiro, Fabiane Letícia Lizarelli, José Carlos de Toledo

Abstract:

The evolution of quality management by companies was strongly enabled by, among others, ISO 9001 certification, which is considered a crucial requirement for several customers. Likewise, performance measurement provides useful insights for companies to identify the reflection of their decision-making process on their improvement. One of the most used performance measurement models is the balanced scorecard (BSC), which uses four perspectives to address a firm’s performance: financial, internal process, customer satisfaction, and learning and growth. Since ISO 9001 certified firms are likely to measure their performance through BSC approach, it is important to verify whether the certificate influences the firm performance or not. Therefore, this paper aims to verify the impact of ISO 9001:2015 on Brazilian firms’ performance based on the BSC perspective. Hence, nine certified companies located in the Southeast region of Brazil were studied through a multiple case study approach. Within this study, it was possible to identify the positive impact of ISO 9001 on firms’ overall performance, and four Critical Success Factors (CSFs) were identified as relevant on the linkage among ISO 9001 and firms’ performance: employee involvement, top management, process management, and customer focus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of interviews was limited to the quality manager specialist, and the sample was limited since several companies were closed during the period of the study. This study presents an in-depth analysis of how the relationship between ISO 9001 certification and firms’ performance in a developing country is.

Keywords: Balanced scorecard, Brazilian firms’ performance, critical success factors, ISO 9001 certification, performance measurement.

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