The Impact of ISO 9001 Certification on Brazilian Firms’ Performance: Insights from Multiple Case Studies

The evolution of quality management by companies was strongly enabled by, among others, ISO 9001 certification, which is considered a crucial requirement for several customers. Likewise, performance measurement provides useful insights for companies to identify the reflection of their decision-making process on their improvement. One of the most used performance measurement models is the balanced scorecard (BSC), which uses four perspectives to address a firm’s performance: financial, internal process, customer satisfaction, and learning and growth. Since ISO 9001 certified firms are likely to measure their performance through BSC approach, it is important to verify whether the certificate influences the firm performance or not. Therefore, this paper aims to verify the impact of ISO 9001:2015 on Brazilian firms’ performance based on the BSC perspective. Hence, nine certified companies located in the Southeast region of Brazil were studied through a multiple case study approach. Within this study, it was possible to identify the positive impact of ISO 9001 on firms’ overall performance, and four Critical Success Factors (CSFs) were identified as relevant on the linkage among ISO 9001 and firms’ performance: employee involvement, top management, process management, and customer focus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of interviews was limited to the quality manager specialist, and the sample was limited since several companies were closed during the period of the study. This study presents an in-depth analysis of how the relationship between ISO 9001 certification and firms’ performance in a developing country is.

[1] J. C. de Toledo, M. A. A. Borrás, R. C. Mergulhão, and G. H. de S. Mendes, Qualidade - Gestão e Métodos, 1st ed. São Paulo: Editora LTC, 2013.
[2] S. H. B. Pinto, M. M. de Carvalho, and L. L. Ho, “Main quality programs characteristics in large size Brazilian companies,” Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag., vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 276–291, 2008.
[3] D. Kafetzopoulos, K. Gotzamani, and E. Psomas, “Quality systems and competitive performance of food companies,” Benchamarking An Int. J., vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 463–483, 2013.
[4] F. Tigre-o, E. E. Tubón-núñez, S. Carrillo, J. Buele, and F. Salazar-L, “Quality Management System Based on the ISO 9001:2015: Study Case of a Coachwork Company,” in 14th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies, 2019, no. XIV, pp. 1–6.
[5] P. F. S. Siltori et al., “Analysis of ISO 9001 certification benefits in Brazilian companies,” Total Qual. Manag., vol. 0, no. 0, pp. 1–19, 2020.
[6] M. Alic and B. Rusjan, “Contribution of the ISO 9001 internal audit to business performance,” Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag., vol. 27, no. 8, pp. 916–937, 2010.
[7] S. Wu and J. Chen, “Comparison between manufacturing companies that are ISO certified and those that are not certified using performance measurement model,” Total Qual. Manag. Bus. Excell., vol. 22, no. 8, pp. 869–890, 2011.
[8] E. Psomas and D. Kafetzopoulos, “Performance measures of ISO 9001 certified and non-certified manufacturing companies,” Benchmarking An Int. J., vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 756–774, 2014.
[9] J. Ochieng, D. Muturi, and S. N. Njihia, “The impact of ISO 9001 implementation on organizational performance in Kenya,” TQM J., vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 761–771, 2015.
[10] D. P. Kafetzopoulos, E. L. Psomas, and K. D. Gotzamani, “The impact of quality management systems on the performance of manufacturing firms,” Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag., vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 381–399, 2015.
[11] B. Neyestani and J. B. P. Juanzon, “ISO 9001 Standard and Organization’s Performance: A Literature Review,” Int. J. Adv. Multidiscip. Res., vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 6–13, 2017.
[12] ISO, “The History of ISO,” 2020. (Online). Available: (Accessed: 14-Jun-2020).
[13] M. M. Silva, L. M. Fonseca, and S. D. Sousa, “The Impact of ISO 9001:2015 on ISO 22000 and Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS),” Food Saf. Manag., vol. 17, no. 152, pp. 81–86, 2016.
[14] L. M. C. M. da Fonseca, J. P. Domingues, P. B. Machado, and D. Harder, “ISO 9001:2015 Adoption: A Multi-Country Empirical Research,” J. Ind. Eng. Manag., vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 27–50, 2019.
[15] C. dos S. Ferreira, C. F. Poltronieri, and M. C. Gerolamo, “ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 9001:2015: analyse the relationship between these management systems standards and corporate sustainability,” Gestão & Produção, vol. 26, no. 4, 2019.
[16] ISO, “The process approach in ISO 9001:2015,” (Online). 2016.
[17] A. Purwanto et al., “The Effect of Implementation Integrated Management System ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000 and ISO 45001 on Indonesian Food Industries Performance,” Test Eng. Manag., vol. 82, no. 1, pp. 14054–14069, 2020.
[18] V. Ismyrlis, O. Moschidis, and G. Tsiotras, “Critical success factors examined in ISO 9001:2008-certified Greek companies using multidimensional statistics,” Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag., vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 114–131, 2015.
[19] J. J. Tari, “Components of successful total quality management,” TQM Mag., vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 182–194, 2005.
[20] M. S. Ilkay and E. Aslan, “The effect of the ISO 9001 quality management system on the performance of SMEs,” Int. J. Qual. Reliab. Manag., vol. 29, no. 7, pp. 753–778, 2012.
[21] L. J. Gutierrez-Gutierrez, I. T. Torres, and V. B. Molina, “Quality management initiatives in Europe: an empirical analysis according to their structural elements,” Total Qual. Manag. Bus. Excell., vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 577–601, 2010.
[22] G. Karuppusami and R. Gandhinathan, “Pareto analysis of critical success factors of total quality management: a literature review and analysis,” TQM Mag., vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 372–385, 2006.
[23] P. C. Oprime, G. H. de S. Mendes, and M. L. Pimenta, “Continuous improvement: critical factors in Brazilian industrial companies,” Int. J. Product. Perform. Manag., vol. 61, no. 1, pp. 69–92, 2011.
[24] M. Godinho Filho, G. M. Ganga, and A. Gunasekaran, “Lean manufacturing in Brazilian small and medium enterprises: implementation and effect on performance,” Int. J. Prod. Res., vol. 54, no. 24, pp. 7523–7545, 2016.
[25] L. S. Sfreddo, G. Bergmann, B. Vieira, G. Vidor, C. Honorato, and S. Santos, “Total Quality Management & Business Excellence ISO 9001 based quality management systems and organisational performance: a systematic literature review,” Total Qual. Manag., vol. 0, no. 0, pp. 1–21, 2018.
[26] R. S. Kaplan and D. P. Norton, The balanced scorecard – translating strategy into action. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.
[27] R. S. Kaplan and D. P. Norton, “Strategic learning and the balanced scorecard,” Strateg. Leadersh., vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 18–24, 1996.
[28] S. I. Wu and J. M. Hung, “The performance measurement of cause-related marketing by balance scorecard,” Total Qual. Manag. Bus. Excell., vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 771–791, 2007.
[29] C. Voss, N. Tsikriktsis, and M. Frohlich, “Case research in operations management,” Int. J. Oper. Prod. Manag., vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 195–219, 2002.
[30] R. K. YIN, Estudo de caso: planejamento e métodos, 2nd ed. Porto Alegre: Bookman, 2001.
[31] P. A. C. Miguel, Metodologia de Pesquisa em Engenharia de Produção e Gestão de Operações, 2nd ed. São Paulo: Elsevier, 2012.
[32] S. Seuring and S. Gold, “Conducting content-analysis based literature reviews in supply chain management,” Supply Chain Manag. An Int. J., vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 544–555, 2012.