In this paper, drawing on data collected from 47 quality managers via semi-structured interviews and follow-up surveys, we identify four major ISO 9000 internalization processes, such as documentation, process improvement, education, and auditing. Our FsQCA analysis reveals that firms, which lack a preexisting QMS, but are subjected to external pressure to adopt ISO 9000, are most likely to substantially improve their operations performance through ISO 9000 implementation. Results of the analysis also indicate that the linkage of “internal motivations -> ISO 9000 internalization processes -> performance”, proposed by prior studies, may not hold true under certain circumstances. Particularly, our findings suggest that, when a firm has a preexisting QMS in place before ISO 9000 adoption, and/or implements ISO 9000 along with other quality improvement initiatives, its improved operations performance is not necessarily attributed to the ISO 9000 implementation alone.

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Keywords Fuzzy set, Grounded theory, Internalization, ISO 9000
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Journal International Journal of Production Economics
Cai, S, & Jun, M. (Minjoon). (2018). A qualitative study of the internalization of ISO 9000 standards: The linkages among firms' motivations, internalization processes, and performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 196, 248–260. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2017.12.001