Research Paper: ISO 14000

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ISO Standardized Quality Systems

In terms of creating and setting standards, ISO does not decide when to develop a new standard. The process for the development of a new standard instead comes from the need from industry or other stakeholders. This may include different consumer groups which help to determine the standards. On average, an industry sector or group announces or communicates the need for a standard and then relates the information to its national member. This international member then contacts ISO. Developing ISO standards is a consensus-based approach and opinion and input from stakeholders are always taken into account.

ISO uses groups of experts based in various parts of the world to develop their standards. These groups are part of larger groups and they're called technical committees. The experts are the ones in charge of negotiating all aspects of the standard. This includes its scope, key definitions, as well as content. The general makeup of these technical committees consist of experts from the relevant industry, as well as consumer associations, academia, NGOs and government.

B. Theoretical basis behind ISO as a standardized TQM system

The ISO 9000 series standard was designed in order to "provide general guidance on the development of a successful quality system that will deliver quality services and products. Every company is different and the standard is applicable to every one from service organizations and trucking companies to design houses and manufacturers. Therefore, the guidelines must be flexible so they can be applied in a variety of business models." (ISO 9000 Resources, 2013, p. 1) Theoretically, what the standard wishes to achieve is improvements not only in quality, but also in customer satisfaction. Consistent improvement is the basis of this series of standard allowing for high quality results.

C. The perceived need for a standardized TQM system for environmental stewardship

The ISO 14000 series, which deals more with the broader aspects of environmental concerns is an international standard used by the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO 14000 family of standards has numerous documents in relation to environmental concerns. They're numbered and labled as ISO 140XX. To begin the process of registration one has to follow the ISO 14001, Environmental Management Systems -- Requirements with Guidance for Use, allowing it to be the most widely recognized standard.

Because ISO 14001 is not a standard based on need for quality performance, companies do not have to fufill requirements of a specific environmental target identified within the standard in order to register. The real requisite is based on the ability to show they've identified their significant environmental aspects --which may include RoHS --and have a plan in place to meet continuous-improvement goals set forth by the company. Also, they must show their progress in achieving these goals. The perceived need for standardized TQM in reality falls short in relation to environmental stewardship. A management standard, however, like the one in the ISO 9000 series allows for organizations to register to the standard from varying progress and maturity levels enabling better performance in relation to top quality management.

II. TQM

A. Theoretical basis

Total Quality Management (TQM) as defined by several sources, is "a way of managing people and business processes to ensure complete customer satisfaction at every stage, internally and externally" (Mis-ra, 2009, p. 116) TQM is meant to allow production of quality goods or delivering satisfactory services the first time around instead of wasting energy on correcting errors. For TQM to be enforced or implemented, people, systems of an organization, and processes must be altered. These changes encompass commitment to quality among not just leaders, but also employees, communication of the need for quality, and generating a culture of TQM in a company.

Quality is defined as: "comprising performance, appearance, availability, delivery, reliability, maintainability, cost effectiveness and price" (Dept of Trade and Industry, 2007, p. 2) the need for quality is emphasized. Some may even suggest that TQM is based on the principles of process focus. This includes process definition, process management, and process improvement as well as a concern for everyone who works in the company/organization.

B. Formalized system for business

A formalized system of business comprises of many things. The meaning behind the process as discussed by Doganata, & Curbera is "A formal system for business contract representation with reasoning about violations of obligations in the contacts. Various aspects of Business Contract Language (BCL) are evaluated by using a logic-based formalism called Formal Contract Language (FCL), the need to ensure compatibility between business processes and business contracts is addressed." (Doganata, & Curbera, n.d., p. 3) a formalized system entails identifying and setting standards everyone must adhere to especially in relation to methods of communication. Workers within the company must follow a specific protocol in order to discuss matters with management who then discuss issues with the leaders of the company. This allows for personal matters to be dealt with in a professional matter as well as limit waste in regards to time management.

Top quality management needs the company to follow guidelines in order to maximize perforance. Without adherence to these guidelines, results will not be optimal. As discussed previously, focus on quality allows for better focus overall in respect to performance. If things are structured in a way that allow better performance, the outcome will be favorable.

C. Contemporary use in a global society

Total quality management can be summarized as a management system with a focus on the organization's duty to the customer/consumer. It also demands continual improvement. It uses strategy, data, and effective communications to integrate the quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization. As it applies to contemporary use in a global society, there are benefits in using this methodolgy. Today's market is based on consumer demand. The ISO standards are developed with consmer opinion in mind. For companies and organizations to allow the use of TQM within their set structure, they must understand the need for employee involvement consumer-focused thinking, process thinking, and applying and having an integrated system. Without this companies fail to meet the demands of the consumer. This in turn, causes loss in profit.

A. Historical background

During its creation, the developers of the ISO 9000 series wanted to encourage organizations to implement and institute quality assurance management programs. ISO 9000 deals specifically with the management of an organization/company. Back then there were no implications for the ISO 9000 to deal with the management of the environmental effects brought on by an organization. It is, like its next series, the ISO 14000, concerned with processes. Interesting fact, the ISO 9000 standard was published a year after the Uruguay GATT negotiations.

Some critics point out the standards instituted by ISO 9000 do not always result in quality products. Although this opinion might be shared with others familiar or within the industry, it still does not take away from ISO 9000's ability to effectively promote good management. ISO 9000 is meant to provide an outline for what organizations/companies should do to lead and manage their employees. Also, it shows how important communication and integration is.

B. Contemporary uses in industry

The ISO 9000 and it's evolving family of updated series, addresses several aspects of quality management. It also is apart of and contains some of ISO's best known standards. These standards provide the tools and guidance for companies and organizations in need of identifying regularly if they meet customer's requirements. Overall ISO 9000 helps companies/organizations improve their quality and promote consistency of higher standards.

In modern times, the standards have become necessary as industry are built based on consumer demand. In relation to contemporary uses, ISO 9000 allows for companies to base their standards on a number of quality management principles with an emphasis on customer focus. As modern times demand quality top management in order to carry out and run an effective company, the ISO 9000 series promotes the process and approach for continual improvement. This helps ensure customers get consistent, good quality products and services allowing for more benefits to the company/organization.

C. Benefits for use with environmental stewardship

The ISO 9000 does not have its main focus on environmental issues, but rather effective management. but, its standard allows for minimization of waste and allows for creation of a more efficient, effective operation. In regards to environmental stewardship, this promotes efficiency as it pertain to carrying out communication of updates and reviews. Another benefit is the reduction of audits. Many companies face continual audits in order to review spending and efficacy. ISO 9000 standards help offset the need for multiple audits.

The standard also promotes international trade as well as increase in profits. This allows for more implementation by the company in relation to environmental stewardship. It also allows for the ability of companies to acquire better tools and skilled employees to handle the responsibilities entailed through this process. Finally the standard promotes increase in customer satisfaction allowing the company/ies to develop a better public image.

D. Limitations for use with environmental stewardship

The… [END OF PREVIEW]

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