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Impact of ISO 9000 on Time-based Performance: An Event Study

Authors: Chris K. Y. Lo, Andy C. L. Yeung, T. C. Edwin Cheng


ISO 9000 is the most popular and widely adopted meta-standard for quality and operational improvements. However, only limited empirical research has been conducted to examine the impact of ISO 9000 on operational performance based on objective and longitudinal data. To reveal any causal relationship between the adoption of ISO 9000 and operational performance, we examined the timing and magnitude of change in time-based performance as a result of ISO 9000 adoption. We analyzed the changes in operating cycle, inventory days, and account receivable days prior and after the implementation of ISO 9000 in 695 publicly listed manufacturing firms. We found that ISO 9000 certified firms shortened their operating cycle time by 5.28 days one year after the implementation of ISO 9000. In the long-run (3 years after certification), certified firms showed continuous improvement in time-based efficiency, and experienced a shorter operating cycle time of 11 days than that of non-certified firms. There was an average of 6.5% improvement in operating cycle time for ISO 9000 certified firms. Both inventory days and account receivable days showed similar significant improvements after the implementation of ISO 9000, too.

Keywords: ISO 9000, Operating Cycle, Time-based efficiency.

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