ISO 9000 was first published in 1987 by ISO (International Organisation for Standardization). It was based on the BS 5750 series of standards from BSI that were proposed to ISO in 1979. However, its history can be traced back some twenty years before that, to the publication of government procurement standards, such as the United States Department of Defense MIL-Q-9858 standard in 1959, and the UK’s Def Stan 05-21 and 05-24. Large organizations which supplied government procurement agencies often had to comply with a variety of quality assurance requirements for each contract awarded which led the defence industry to adopt mutual recognition of NATO AQAP, MIL-Q and Def Stan standards. Eventually, ISO 9000 was adopted as a suitable option, instead of forcing contractors to adopt multiple – and often similar – requirements.
In addition to many stakeholders’ benefits, a number of studies have identified significant financial benefits for organizations certified to ISO 9001, with a 2011 survey from the British Assessment Bureau showing 44% of their certified clients had won new business. Corbett et al. showed that certified organizations achieved superior return on assetscompared to otherwise similar organizations without certification. Heras et al. found similarly superior performance and demonstrated that this was statistically significant and not a function of organization size. Naveha and Marcus claimed that implementing ISO 9001 led to superior operational performance in the U.S. automotive industry. Sharma identified similar improvements in operating performance and linked this to superior financial performance. Chow-Chua et al. showed better overall financial performance was achieved for companies in Denmark. Rajan and Tamimi (2003) showed that ISO 9001 certification resulted in superior stock market performance and suggested that shareholders were richly rewarded for the investment in an ISO 9001 system.