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Understanding ISO9000 and its impact on firm performance 

The ISO 9000 series of quality management systems standard has been widely applied all over the world since its introduction in 1987. By the end of 2013, ISO 9000 had been adopted by over 1,129,000 facilities in 189 countries. The adoption of ISO 9000 is related to firm financial performance, such as return on sales, return on assets, and firm efficiency (e.g. total factor productivity). Both academics and practitioners are interest in understanding the predictors of adoption of ISO 9000 and, the impact of adoption of ISO 9000 on firm financial performance. However the extant research findings on the impact of ISO 9000 adoption on firm financial performance are mixed. Positive, negative and no relationship between ISO 9000 and financial performance are reported. It is assumed that the impact of adoption of ISO 9000 on firm financial performance may be different for developed countries and developing countries.

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The central government of a developing country funded a research investigation the link between ISO 9000 adoption and other variables. In 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics collected the data by an Economic Census of the service firms. The data include financial information and other firm characteristic information. Now the secondary data is available for analysis (the data in Moodle).

 Required Task

 You are expected to work in groups and write a research report. When you work on your report, you need to use the dataset, and other sources such as journal articles, website materials. When you use website material, please pay attention to the quality of the material (e.g. government website or industry website etc.). There is no word limit for the report. For the number of references, there should be at least four academic sources (journal articles, or books). It is encouraged to use more relevant, high quality, and up to date sources in the report.

Students have a high degree of flexibility in doing the research. The important thing is that the research should be well connected with the literature and the case.    

The required structure should be as following.

  1. Executive Summary: Major findings and major recommendations
  2. Introduction: Background (of the case); purpose (of this report); two to three research objectives for a study that you would seek to conduct; and format (of this report).
  3. Write a short literature review of at least four academic sources relevant to your topic. Any source including books, journal articles are acceptable, as long as they are relevant. You can also use a particular website for some information. If websites are used they will be in addition of the four academic sources.
  4. Describe the methodology and justify your choice.
  5. Analyses and findings: Run some analysis to turn the data into useful information as follows:
  6. Descriptive statistics: Sample characteristics will be described with descriptive analysis. This will include at least the following analysis: Frequency, percentage; Measures of central tendency; Measures of dispersion (variance, standard deviation)
  7. Inferential statistics: Inferential statistics will be used to analyse relationship between variables. This will include at least the following analysis (Chi-square, Spearman’s rho, Pearson’s r, t-test, ANOVA test).
  8. Discussion and managerial advises: link your findings to extant literature. Advise the management about the usefulness of the findings.
  9. Limitations and directions for future research. Suggestions of how the research can be improved.
  10. Include a correctly constructed reference list of all sources used in the project, not just those used in the literature review section. Appendices also should be attached which will include all the analysis and graphs etc. that are not included in the body of the report.