ISO 9000/1994, ISO 9001/2000 and TQM: The performance debate revisited

Micaela Martínez-Costa, Thomas Choi, Jose A. Martínez, Angel R. Martínez-Lorente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

221 Scopus citations


The debate about the impact of ISO 9000/1994 on performance has been waging since its inception. While there is a general agreement regarding the positive impact of TQM on performance, there has been less agreement among the academics about the impact of ISO 9000/1994. Perhaps in response to such debate, the new ISO 9001/2000 has appeared purporting to be more in line with the TQM philosophy. As of now, how this 2000 version actually affects performance is yet to be explored. In this study, we compare the implementation of ISO 9000/1994 and ISO 9001/2000 as representing two different efforts to implement quality management practices. We evaluate its impact on company performance with a sample of 713 Spanish industrial companies. We also examine if the 2000 version of ISO is taking us closer to the implementation of TQM. Further, we depart from the past studies methodologically by considering performance as a formative construct rather than a reflective construct. Based on the mean and covariance structural (MACS) analyses, we conclude that ISO 9001/2000 certified companies do not perform noticeably better than ISO 9000/1994 or non-certified companies. However, we find that ISO 9001/2000 certified companies apply TQM at a higher level than ISO 9000/1994 certified companies, but whether they actually perform better is less clear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-511
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • ISO 9000
  • Postal survey
  • Quality management
  • TQM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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