ISO 9000 practices and financial performance: a technology coherence perspective

Mary J. Benner, Francisco M. Veloso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

226 Citations (Scopus)


Attention to processes has increased, as thousands of organizations have adopted process-focused programs such as TQM and ISO 9000. Proponents of such programs stress the promise of improved efficiency and profitability. But research has not consistently borne out these prospects. Moreover, the expectation of universal benefits is not consistent with research highlighting the important role of firm-specific capabilities in sustaining competitive advantage. In this paper, we use longitudinal panel data on ISO 9000 practices for firms in the auto supplier industry to study two new issues related to the adoption of process management practices. First, we find that, as the majority of firms within an industry adopt ISO 9000, late adopters no longer gain financial benefits from these practices. Second, we explore how firms' technological coherence moderates the performance advantages of ISO 9000 practices. We find that firms that have a very narrow or very broad technological focus have fewer opportunities for complementary interactions that arise from process management practices and thus benefit less than those with limited breadth in technologically related activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-629
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Empirical research methods
  • Operations strategy
  • Quality management
  • Technology management


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