The Role of Quality Standards in Innovative Service Companies: An Empirical Analysis for Germany

Proceeding from theoretical hypotheses, driving forces for the introduction of the ISO 9000ff series in innovative service companies are analysed. Based on the European Community Innovation Survey (CIS), a probit model is estimated with different explanatory variables based on a sample of innovative German service companies. The first analysis of the role of the quality standard ISO 9000ff in German innovative service companies, based on general hypotheses concerning the role of quality standards, produced elucidating results. Besides sector- and size-specific differences, the use of "risky" technologies positively influences the probability of introducing ISO 9000ff. This quality standard has another twofold impact: First, as expected, it is a quality seal for the customers of the service company, especially in markets with homogeneous products and average qualities. Second, the introduction of ISO 9000ff has impacts on the internal processes of the service companies. In contrast to a conventional product standard, it supports the management in being flexible, especially towards the preferences of the customers and in reaching project deadlines. However, the introduction may also increase the pressure on the employees who are therefore evidently more reluctant about its introduction. Consequently, the empirical results underpin most of the theoretical hypotheses on the role of quality standards in service companies.

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Published:2001
Classification:Publications with Country / Regional Focus
AuthorsChristiane Hipp, Knut Blind (Fraunhofer Institute )
Other bibliographical information:Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Germany