Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Greg Arbuckle (Director), Dr. Mark Doggett,Dr. Stanley Lightner

Degree Program

Department of Architectural and Manufacturing Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The costs of obtaining and maintaining ISO certification are high. Moreover, studies have shown mixed results on the benefits of the certification. Consequently, the objective of this research was to verify whether or not companies do value maintaining the ISO 9000 certification.

The empirical study was conducted on 41 U.S. companies that were first certified in 2000. The companies formed an existing database as they were used by Dr. Arbuckle in 2004 in his doctoral dissertation. Of the 41 companies, 12 were found to be out of business, leaving a final sample size of 29. Data were gathered from this sample through telephone interviews and verified through the organizations’ online documents. In this group, 23 companies were found to be still maintaining the ISO 9000 certification as of 2009.

When the statistical analyses were performed, the results clearly indicated that companies do significantly value maintaining the ISO 9000 certification. However, it was interesting to note that the primary reason behind maintaining the ISO 9000 certification was pressure from customers and not necessarily as a tool towards achieving quality production or continuous improvement. Indeed, such an observation may help to explain why even certified companies sometimes produce goods and services of inferior quality.


Architectural Engineering | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Technology and Innovation