Online from: 1988
Subject Area: Managing Quality
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|Title:||ISO 9000 in the public sector: a successful case from Australia|
|Author(s):||Prakash J. Singh, (Department of Management, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia), Peter Mansour-Nahra, (School of Management, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)|
|Citation:||Prakash J. Singh, Peter Mansour-Nahra, (2006) "ISO 9000 in the public sector: a successful case from Australia", The TQM Magazine, Vol. 18 Iss: 2, pp.131 - 142|
|Keywords:||Australia, ISO 9000 series, Public sector organizations, Quality management|
|Article type:||Case study|
|DOI:||10.1108/09544780610647856 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – Public sector organisations have been relatively late in adopting ISO 9000 quality management standards in comparison with those from the private sector. While the standards have the potential to provide many benefits, they could also reinforce certain detrimental orthodoxies. How suitable ISO 9000 is to public sector organisations is not clear. This paper aims to assess the suitability of ISO 9000 through the experiences of a public sector organisation.
Design/methodology/approach – The organisation is a prominent Australian federal government agency operating in the maritime safety area. The experiences of this organisation were captured through interviews with key personnel and publicly available data. Specific issues analysed included the motivation for implementation, the registration process involved, the difficulties faced and the benefits derived.
Findings – Overall, it is clear that ISO 9000 has been a success in this organisation. It had the “right” attitude in terms of its motivation for implementation, used a pragmatic approach to the registration process, took practical steps to minimise problems and had realised meaningful benefits.
Originality/value – Results suggest that the approach taken by this organisation can be exemplary to other similar organisations. The paper supports the contingent view of ISO 9000 where organisations need to customise the standards to their requirements. Finally, this paper provides empirical insights into the diffusion of a significant management phenomenon in a sector that does not appear to have had much experience with it.
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