Article | Management Science | June 2010

Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers

by David I. Levine and Michael W. Toffel

Abstract

Several studies have examined how the ISO 9001 Quality Management System standard predicts changes in organizational outcomes such as profits. This is the first large-scale study to explore how employee outcomes such as employment, earnings, and health and safety change when employers adopt ISO 9001. We analyzed a matched sample of nearly 1,000 companies in California. ISO 9001 adopters subsequently had far lower organizational death rates than a matched control group of non-adopters. Among surviving employers, ISO adopters had higher growth rates for sales, employment, payroll, and average annual earnings. Injury rates declined slightly for ISO 9001 adopters, although total injury costs did not. These results have implications for organizational theory, managers, and public policy.

Keywords: Quality; Management; Jobs and Positions; Employees; Forecasting and Prediction; Organizations; Sales; Profit; Business Earnings; Safety; Health Care and Treatment; Policy;

Citation:

Levine, David I., and Michael W. Toffel. "Quality Management and Job Quality: How the ISO 9001 Standard for Quality Management Systems Affects Employees and Employers." Management Science 56, no. 6 (June 2010): 978–996. (Profiled by industry practitioners in Quality Digest, Quality Progress, ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).)