The implementation of a quality management system in the not-for-profit sector
White, G. , Samson, P. , Rowland-Jones, R. and Thomas, A. (2009) The implementation of a quality management system in the not-for-profit sector. The TQM Journal, 21 (3). pp. 273-283. ISSN 1754-2731
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17542730910953040
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the rationale for establishing a quality management system (QMS) by obtaining ISO 9001:2000 certification in a not for profit small to medium enterprise (SME) in the UK. The rationale for choosing this approach over others to achieve operational stability and ongoing improvement is explored and an evaluation of its effectiveness undertaken Methodology – A case study approach is adopted with the paper outlining the process of ISO 9001:2000 implementation in a single not-for-profit SME. The paper identifies the process by which the organisation prepares for certification and appraises both the changes required by the organisation and the scope of opportunistic improvements that resulted. Findings – Through the correct development of the QMS the company was able to generate bottom-line savings and business performance enhancement. The paper shows that when the QMS is developed as part of a coherent initiative, lasting performance improvements are achieved. Research implications – The pursuit of ISO 9001:2000 in a not-for-profit company provides an effective framework for similar companies to follow suit. Further analysis of ISO 900:2000 implementation through its application in a range of similar companies is proposed. Practical implications – The paper concludes that the act of preparation for ISO 9001:2000 in this type and size of organisation constitutes a radical change and proposes that a transitive version of ISO 9001:2000 related standard, scalable for SMEs, would benefit the continued growth of this economic sector. Originality/value – This study highlights the potential benefits of creating and implementing a QMS in a not-for-profit SME through the pursuit of ISO 9001:2000 certification. It shows that the tangible benefits of such an approach alone do not ensure that ISO 9001:2000 remains the preferred quality standard.
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