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Title: Quality management system auditing : a critical exploration of practice
Author: Kuceja, Andreas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 2331
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2017
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The introduction of standardized quality systems and their development into quality management systems offers the opportunity to evaluate the organizational quality of business entities, regardless of their industry. For professional purchasers it has become common practice to demand evidence of the successful application of a quality management system-a necessary step in the process of pre-qualifying potential suppliers. It has become common practice to have the introduction and operation of a quality management system as a minimum requirement for contract as part of a value chain of potential clients or contracting authorities as a future or continuous supplier or service provider. Moreover, this has to be approved. To do so, purchasers can perform supplier audits or ask for evidence provided by certificates. Typically, certificates stating conformity to the requirements of a quality management system are issued by professional audit service companies, so called certification bodies. This study helps to remedy the dearth of studies concerning the effectiveness of audits conducted by certification bodies. This qualitative study uses a limited number of case studies to analyse and assess the approaches and techniques used by auditors for certification or re-certification audits. Additionally, this study attempts to understand whether auditors involved have taken into account the paradigm change of the early 2000s. To this end, auditors involved in the case studies were interviewed. The interviews were dedicated to understanding the cognitive processes of data analysis and the resulting judgements which led to the issuance of certificates stating conformance to the relevant standards. The study was completed on quality management system audits founded on the ISO 9001:2008. This standard establishes the foundation for various further industry-dedicated standards, for example the IRIS or the ISO/TS 16949. Cases studies were performed out in small sized companies and recorded through audio tape recordings, as well by notes concerning auditors’ observed actions. These were transcribed and coded. Analysis of the data indicates that auditors have a detailed idea of what is to be found, regardless the type of business an auditee conducts and the aims of a company. The structure, policy, and individual processes of the audited company did not seem to be of interest. Additionally, audits were performed on the results of audited processes more so than on the progress of the process action and their input/output relation. The interviews shed light on auditors’ understandings of the underlying concepts of the ISO 9001:2008. The results show that the auditors examined still have problems with applying these concepts for their audit practices. Furthermore, the study shows the relationship between power and independence of auditors and their impact on effectiveness. Consequently, the study shows that a certificate issued by a professional audit service does not guarantee conformance to the ISO 9001:2008.
Supervisor: Veale, Francisca ; Fass, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture ; HF Commerce