Exploring the impacts of ISO 9001 on small- and medium-sized social service institutions: a multiple case study

Nuno Filipe Melão*, Sara Maria Guia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although there is an extensive body of literature about the implementation of the ISO 9001 standard, the study of its impacts on non-mainstream areas such as social services has received little interest. The purpose of this research is to explore the benefits, pitfalls and professional practice impacts of ISO 9001 on social services. A multiple case study of three small and medium-sized institutions certified on multiple services was conducted. The results show that (1) social services saw improvements in processes, employee motivation, internal communication and job design rather than service outcome improvements; (2) some impacts are specific to social services; and (3) the administrative workload of social workers increased, but they were better able to structure and tailor their work to the specific needs of users. This paper contributes to the understanding of implementing ISO 9001 in social service institutions. The implications and limitations are discussed together with suggestions for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-326
Number of pages15
JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
Volume26
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • ISO 9001
  • Quality management
  • Quality management systems
  • Social services

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