ChapterPDF Available

A Supply Chain View on Certification Standards: Does Supply Chain Certification Improve Performance Outcomes?

  • Atlantic Technological University

Abstract and Figures

This paper aims to report the results of an empirical study, examining the perceived performance implications of quality, environmental and occupational health and safety certifications (i.e., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001) at the supply chain level considering certifications of both the buyer and supplier. To assess the perceived performance implication of certifications at the supply chain level we collected survey data in Ireland from manufacturing plants. Our results indicate that certifications at the supply chain level lead to higher perceived performance outcomes for environmental certifications (i.e., ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety certifications (i.e., OHSAS 18001). However, our results could not confirm our hypothesis that quality certification (i.e., 9001) at the supply chain level leads to higher perceived quality performance. This study represents one of the first attempts to assess the impact of certifications on its intended performance dimensions at the supply chain level. The research takes into consideration different certifications at both the buyer’s and supplier’s plant.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A supply chain view on certification standards: Does supply chain
certification improve performance outcomes?
Please cite as:
Wiengarten, F., Onofrei, G., Humphreys, P. & Fynes, B. (2018). “A Supply Chain View on
Certification Standards: Does Supply Chain Certification Improve Performance Outcomes?”,
ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and New Management Standards. Springer.
Frank Wiengarten, Department of Operations, Innovation and Data Sciences, ESADE Business School,
Sant Cugat, Spain, Email:
George Onofrei*, School of Business, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Letterkenny, Ireland, Email:
Paul Humphreys, Department of Management&Leadership, Ulster University Business School,
Newtownabbey, UK, Email:
Brian Fynes, School of Business, UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School, Blackrock, Ireland, Email:
*Corresponding author
Keywords: ISO 9001; ISO 14001; OHSAS 18001; Performance Management; Buyer and
Supplier Certification
This paper aims to report the results of an empirical study, examining the perceived
performance implications of quality, environmental and occupational health & safety
certifications (i.e., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001) at the supply chain level
considering certifications of both the buyer and supplier. To assess the perceived
performance implication of certifications at the supply chain level we collected survey
data in Ireland from manufacturing plants. Our results indicate that certifications at the
supply chain level lead to higher perceived performance outcomes for environmental
certifications (i.e., ISO 14001) and occupational health & safety certifications (i.e.,
OHSAS 18001). However, our results could not confirm our hypothesis that quality
certification (i.e., 9001) at the supply chain level leads to higher perceived quality
performance. This study represents one of the first attempts to assess the impact of
certifications on its intended performance dimensions at the supply chain level. The
research takes into consideration different certifications at both the buyer’s and supplier’s
1. Introduction
Supply chain and purchasing managers are constantly seeking for verification of their
suppliers’ performance in multiple performance dimensions. Managers have frequently and
successfully relied on external certifications such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS
18001 in the supplier selection process. These certifications have helped companies in the
sourcing process to at least preselect and qualify a pool of companies that have externally
verified processes to ensure a minimum and consistent level of quality, environmental and
occupational health and safety standards.
ISO 9001 specifies the requirements for a quality management system (QMS) that an
organization must fulfil to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and
services that meet applicable statutory and regulatory requirements (ISO, 2009a). Through
the ISO 14001 standard companies implement operational controls to manage environmental
concerns that are aimed at improving the efficient use of natural resources (ISO, 2009b). The
OHSAS 18001 certification focuses on the area of occupational health and safety
management systems (OHSMS), concentrating on the wellbeing of the workforce (Marshall
et al., 2015). These three certification standards represent some of the most important
standards for manufacturing and service industries and are widely implemented globally (ISO
survey of management system standard certification, 2013; OHSAS Project Group, 2011).
The primary goal of these certifications is to achieve process compliance (Gray et al., 2015),
which may result in enhancing product and process performance as well as improving a
firm’s reputation (Wiengarten et al., 2013). In terms of the supply chain, these certifications
provide a signalling effect which reassures buyers that their suppliers are taking seriously
issues related to quality, environment and health and safety (Wiengarten et al., 2013).
The performance implications of these certifications have been extensively explored in
previous research (e.g., Melnyk et al., 2003; Corbett et al., 2005; Levine and Toffel, 2010;
Sharma, 2005; Boiral and Henri, 2012; Lo et al., 2014). Although negative or non-significant
certification performance relationships have been found the general consensus in the
literature indicates that certifications improve the operational and financial performance of a
However, what has been explored to a much lesser extent is the extent of these
certifications on performance at the supply chain level. Certifications have been applied by
companies to signal their commitment and intention to enter new markets or to expand
market share (Wiengarten et al., 2013). However, these certification benefits on performance
have been predominantly assessed solely from a single (focal) company perspective, rather
than considering the supply chain as the level of analysis. This paper investigates the impact
of certifications at the supply chain level thorough comparing the performance implications
of certifications. Specifically, in this paper we explore the following research questions: To
what extent is the buyer’s performance (in terms of quality, environmental and OHS
performance) affected by their key supplier’s ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001
To explore this research question we collected survey data in Ireland. Results indicate that
in terms of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 the environmental and occupational health &
safety performance of a buyer is higher when their key supplier is ISO 14001 and OHSAS
18001 certified compared to cases where the supplier is not ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001
certified. However, our results could not confirm this in terms of ISO 9001 and quality
performance. The quality performance of the buyer was not higher when their key supplier
was ISO 9001 certified as compared to cases when the key supply was not ISO 9001
certified. We discuss these results in terms of the implications for practice and theory.
2. Literature Review
2.1. Certifications and performance
In today’s competitive environment, firms understand the importance of standardized
management systems (Abad et al., 2014) and their customers expect them to seek
certification of their products, services or operations. ISO 9001 is one of the most common
and established standards across industries (Lo et al., 2013). Due to increased pressures from
multiple stakeholders, such as customers, regulators, government and non-governmental
organisations, sustainability certifications in environmental (ISO 14001) and social (OHSAS
18001) management have become globally diffused. As mentioned previously, extensive
research has been carried out at the plant level performance effects of these certifications
(Fernández-Muñiz et al., 2009, Qi et al., 2013, Singh et al., 2011, Gray et al., 2015). There
are mixed views, concerning the effective contribution of these certifications to plant
performance. Although, several researchers highlight the positive relationship between these
certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001) and superior performance of
certified companies, a number of studies suggest that these standards are either “tick box”
exercises or process orientated with little impact on performance. It is important to note that
the certification process does not guarantee a particular plant performance level, but rather
prescribes the standardisation of the processes, that companies can use to enhance specific
performance dimensions (Bernardo et al., 2009). A summary of research studies on the
certifications (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001) and their effect on performance, as
well as the dimensions used to estimate firm performance, is presented in Table 1. The
overall conclusion is that these certifications affect company performance in a variety of
Table 1. Impact of certifications on firm performance: summary of research
Certification type
Research Study
Does the
Firm performance dimensions
ISO 9001
Corbett et al. (2005)
Productivity improvements, market
benefits and financial performance
Morris (2006)
Financial performance
Han et al. (2007)
Various business performance
Benner and Veloso (2008)
Financial performance
Dick et al. (2008)
Return on assets
Lafuente et al. (2010)
ROA, labour productivity
Levine and Toffel (2010)
Rates for sales, employment, payroll, and
average annual earnings
Srivastav (2011)
Organisational effectiveness and
Starke et al. (2012)
Sales revenue, cost of goods sold, asset
turnover ratio
Lo et al. (2013)
Operational and financial performance
Huo et al. (2014)
Product and process flow management
Chatzoglou et al. (2015)
Quality awareness, operations execution,
market share, customer satisfaction and
sales revenue
ISO 14001
King et al. (2005)
Environmental performance
Potoski and Prakash
Environmental performance
Barla (2007)
Reduction of emissions
Arimura et al. (2008)
Natural resource use, solid waste
generation, and wastewater effluent
Lam et al. (2011)
Environmental performance
Nishitani et al. (2012)
Pollution emissions
Blackman (2012)
Environmental performance
Boiral and Henri (2012)
Environmental performance
Zobel (2013)
Air emissions, water emissions, resource
use, energy use, and waste
Testa et al. (2014)
Pollution emission
Campos et al. (2015)
Environmental performance
Arimura et al. (2016)
Environmental performance
OHSAS 18001
Chang and Liang (2009)
Safety index score
Hohnen and Hasle (2011)
Safety standards
Vinodkumar and Bhasi
Safety management and employee
Choi et al. (2012)
Sales and ROA
Fernández-Muñiz et al.
Safety behaviour, employee satisfaction,
and qualitative measures of business
Abad et al. (2013)
Safety and operating performance
Lo et al. (2014)
Safety, sales growth, labour productivity,
and profitability
2.2. Certifications at the supply chain level
Operating globally and the increased market pressures, force companies to focus on the
overall supply chain impact of all triple bottom line dimensions: economic, environmental
and social issues (Wilhelm et al., 2016). In the past two decades, supply chain management
has been through a significant paradigm shift (Curkovic and Sroufe, 2011); businesses
recognised that they cannot compete as an individual entity, but rather using their supply
chain (Lambert and Cooper, 2000) and as a result, firms established cooperative and mutually
beneficial relationships with their supply chain partners (Prajogo et al., 2012).
Rising external pressures from regulatory and societal bodies as well as customers has
encouraged companies to focus on their suppliers in ensuring sustainable multi-tier supply
chains (Wilhelm et al., 2016). This is particularly the case in manufacturing as they are
perceived to have a greater social and environmental impact, relative to other sectors
(Gualandris and Kalchschmidt, 2015). For example, companies such as IKEA (Vachon and
Klassen, 2006), Sony Ericsson (Norrman and Jansson, 2004), Mattel (Hora et al., 2011) and
Zara (Burgen and Phillips, 2011) have transferred these external sustainability pressures to
their supply chain in order to prevent negative publicity. Since 1994, in the car manufacturing
sector, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler now require all tool and equipment suppliers to
obtain QS-9000 certification, which is an auto-industry specific version of ISO 9000 (Hwang
et al., 2006). Hence, one approach that is used by many buyer organisations is to require that
their suppliers should implement international management standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO
14001 and OHSAS 18001. However, the automotive example illustrated by Choi and Hong
(2002), shows how difficult it is for companies to manage and exert control over the lower-
tier suppliers. These firms, which are at the peripheral levels of the supply chain, tend to be
small or medium enterprises with limited resources and less exposure to these external
pressures. Therefore, the engagement with the first-tier supplier becomes paramount, in the
successful implementation and management of these certifications in the supply chain
(Grimm et al., 2014).
The literature on the impact of certifications at plant level is substantial, but less is known
about the effect at the supply chain level (Prajogo et al., 2012, Wiengarten et al., 2013, Qi et
al., 2013). In manufacturing industries, because they heavily rely on suppliers, the success of
buyers is largely dependent on the performance outcomes of their suppliers (Krause et al.,
2007). Therefore, further investigation is required to understand the impact of these
certifications on the performance, at the supply chain level, specifically if the performance of
the buyer is higher, when their direct supplier is certified.
2.2.1. Performance implications of ISO 9001
Several studies (Dick et al., 2008, Levine and Toffel, 2010, Psomas et al., 2013) claim that
ISO 9001 certification improves both management practices and the performance of internal
processes, and these improvements ultimately affect the financial performance. Levine and
Toffel (2010) state that the sales turnover improvements are a result of customers interpreting
the ISO 9001 certification as a signal of high-quality products or service.
Although ISO 9001 addresses both internal and external organisational processes, there is
an abundance of studies that have only examined the implementation effect at plant level,
however research at supply chain level is limited (Prajogo et al., 2012).
Singh et al. (2011) explored the use of the ISO 9001 standard as a tool to manage the
organizational environment, specifically the relationships between process management
(internal process, customer process and supplier process) and operating performance (as a
measure of effectiveness). Their findings highlight that selected dimensions of process
management have a higher impact on operating performance when considered collectively,
rather than individually. A similar study by Prajogo et al. (2012), investigated three levels of
ISO 9001 implementation (basic, advanced and supportive) on supply chain activities. Basic
implementation included the basic quality practices and principles; advanced implementation
reflected the philosophy of the standards; and supportive implementation represented the
management system and supporting the basic and advanced implementation. The results
show that both advanced and supportive implementations have a positive effect on the
operational performance. The basic implementation displayed only an interactive effect,
meaning that its influence depends on other aspects of the implementation process, which
might explain why some companies do not gain benefits from the certification process.
Hwang et al. (2006) provided empirical support for the buyer’s increasing use of the ISO
9001 certification as an incentive for improving the supplier’s quality. They found that
buyers prefer the ISO 9001 certification process over the appraisal process (the traditional
inspection regime) when dealing with suppliers.
ISO 9001 supplier certification means that processes within the company follow a certain
quality management standard. Although it does not guarantee a certain level of quality
performance, the certification supports the enhancement of supplier’s quality objectives,
which in turn may improve the buyer’s quality performance. Thus, the following hypothesis
is proposed:
H1: The quality performance of a buyer is higher when their key supplier is ISO 9001
certified compared to cases where the supplier is not ISO 9001 certified.
2.2.2. Performance implications of ISO 14001
Environmental sustainability is a key and current concern for companies and recent
research has explored this topic at the supply chain level (Gualandris and Kalchschmidt,
2015, Wilhelm et al., 2016, Vanpoucke et al., 2014, Wiengarten et al., 2013). The volatile
competitive environment has forced companies to rely on supply chains to source materials,
components, manufacturing process and other services. This results in a greater dependency
on suppliers and more attention is being given to their contribution to the overall
environmental sustainability of the supply chain (Wilhelm et al., 2016). To respond to these
pressures, many firms have invested in environmental management systems, such as ISO
14001 (Nawrocka et al., 2009). This standard is designed for companies to identify and
establish the importance of their environmental performance. Through the implementation of
ISO 14001, firms develop controls to manage their environmental impact and this enables
them to improve the use of natural resources and reduce negative externalities (Boiral and
Henri, 2012). Similar to ISO 9001, the ISO 14001 standard does not guarantee environmental
excellence or compliance, but rather describes a system that will help an organisation to
achieve its environmental objectives. The expectation is that better environmental
management will result in improved environmental performance (Curkovic and Sroufe,
2011). The general finding of previous research on ISO 14001 is that certified companies
report higher levels of environmental performance however non-significant results do also
exist (de Vries et al., 2012).
The motivations for implementing an environmental management system vary (Campos et
al., 2015, Wiengarten et al., 2013); these tend to be external factors such as customers (Pagell
et al., 2010, Gualandris and Kalchschmidt, 2014), ethical motivations (Bansal and Roth,
2000, Lam et al., 2011), performance improvement (Montabon et al., 2007, Arimura et al.,
2016), compliance with legislation (Blackman, 2012, Gray et al., 2015), marketing and
legitimating reasons (Boiral and Henri, 2012, Qi et al., 2013) and other intangible benefits
(i.e. communication, employee motivation) (Zutshi and Sohal, 2004, Campos et al., 2015).
In this study we focus on the use of ISO 14001 implementation at the supply chain level
(buyer and supplier) as an approach for environmental performance improvement. Firms that
have implemented ISO 14001, need to address the environmental aspects with their suppliers
in order to improve the overall supply chain performance (Nawrocka et al., 2009). The need
for integration of the environmental aspects in purchasing activities has been highlighted
(Handfield et al., 2005) and the ISO 14001 standard has been proposed as a management
system for improving environmental performance in the procurement process (Koplin et al.,
2007, Chen, 2005, Lee et al., 2009). Darnall et al. (2008) investigated the effect of
environmental certification on environmental supply chain activities and found that certified
companies were more likely to improve their environmental performance than the non-
certified companies. More recently, Arimura et al. (2011) reported that ISO 14001
certification promotes green supply chain management and certified companies are 40%
more likely to measure their suppliers’ environmental performance, with in excess of 50 %
of companies being more likely to demand that their suppliers follow specific environmental
practices. Curkovic and Sroufe (2011) highlighted that through ISO 14001 certification firms
can promote a sustainable supply chain strategy and this can be leveraged throughout the
supply chain resulting in a competitive advantage. Furthermore, Chiarini (2012) analysed 18
companies that used ISO 14001 standard requirements for improving the supply chain
environmental sustainability. The research used a five step approach through which the
supplier obtained the status of “green partner”. This approach allowed the buyer to define a
set of environmental performance indicators and manage the improvements of the supplier.
The overall effect of such collaboration was reported as strategic and innovative, however no
direct link to the buyer environmental performance was assessed.
Given the global diffusion of ISO 14001 certified companies and the diverse motivations
for implementing environmental supply chain initiatives, the following hypothesis is
H2: The environmental performance of a buyer is higher when their key supplier is ISO
14001 certified compared to cases where the supplier is not ISO 14001 certified.
2.2.3. Performance implications of OHSAS 18001
OHSAS 18001 is a formal external certification formulated by international certifying
bodies based on the British Standard 8800 (Qi et al., 2013) and it forms part of the
occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMS). This standard is designed to
help companies eliminate and minimise occupational health and safety risks to employees
and other stakeholders, as part of their social responsibility (Fernández-Muñiz et al., 2012,
Bottani et al., 2009, Hohnen and Hasle, 2011).
Abad et al. (2013) developed a taxonomy which suggests that there is a tendency among
researchers to focus on evaluating the OHSAS 18001 benefits in organisations, and limited
investigation has been done at the supply chain level. Gualandris and Kalchschmidt (2015)
used a sample of Italian manufacturing firms to explore how environmental and social (i.e.,
health and safety indicators) performance of manufacturing companies can be improved
through the development of sustainable supply chain management practices. Their findings
show that the effect of external practices on manufacturing companies ‘sustainability
performance is fully mediated by the key supplier’s sustainability. This raises the importance
of social sustainability standards such as OHSAS 18001, at the supply chain level and how it
influences the overall social sustainability performance.
Another example, where health and safety issues are a core value of the supply chain is the
Electricity Supply Board (ESB) Ireland. The supplier health and safety performance is
paramount for ESB as it affects directly their services offered to the end-customer. The
company uses a supplier charter to manage and control their health and safety performance
(ESB, 2016). The company expects that the suppliers provide a safe workplace for their
employees in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. When working at ESB (or
ESB customer) sites, suppliers are expected to comply with all ESB Contractor Safety
Regulations communicated to them as well as any site-specific safety instructions given to
them by ESB.
In several manufacturing sectors such as, such as food and textile, researchers have
highlighted the ethical and social responsibility that companies must consider when
outsourcing their production worldwide and the impact that this has on the supply chain. For
example, consumers have criticised apparel company NIKE in relation to the use of
sweatshop labour issues at its suppliers (Maloni and Brown, 2006) and it has had a negative
impact on their corporate image. Lund-Thomsen and Lindgreen (2014) assert that the social
performance of suppliers affects the overall supply chain performance and propose that
companies develop cooperative initiatives for managing social responsibility in global value
chains. Therefore, certifications such as OHSAS 18001, can provide a signalling effect that
suppliers are emphasizing a high degree of health and safety performance (Qi et al., 2013).
Based on the limited number of research papers and the practical examples outlined above,
our research asserts that OHSAS 18001 implementation at the supply chain level (buyer and
supplier) can lead to superior performance and the following hypothesis is proposed:
H3: The occupational health and safety performance of a buyer is higher when their key
supplier is OHSAS 18001 certified compared to cases where the supplier is not OHSAS
18001 certified.
3. Method
3.1. Data
To test the combined impact of buyer and key supplier certifications on performance we
collected data through a survey in Ireland. The level of analysis was the manufacturing plant
and the respondents were plant managers. These key informants had the comprehensive
knowledge related to the management and operations of the plant and they were advised to
supplement this with input from other functions, where appropriate. The majority of the data
was collected electronically via email. Other methods were used as well, such as telephone,
mail and face-to-face interviews. Table 2 provides an overview of the dataset in terms of
industry sector, company size and certification frequency. The data was collected at the end
of 2014 and early 2015. The population chosen for this research was that of manufacturing
plants in Ireland within the industry classification codes of SIC 27 and SIC 38 employing
twenty or more people. The size of the population was established from a number of
databases, including Kompass Ireland, the Industrial Development Authority and Enterprise
Ireland. Given the SIC codes, 500 companies were identified and the response rate of just
over 12% is satisfactory and in alignment with recent survey research in the operations
management domain.
Table 2. Sample descriptives
Food & kindred products
Apparel and other finished products made from fabrics and similar materials
Chemicals and allied products
Rubber and miscellaneous plastics products
Primary metal industries
Fabricated metal products, except machinery and transportation equipment
Industrial and commercial machinery and computer equipment
Electronic and other electrical equipment and components, except computer equipment
Measuring, analysing, and controlling instruments; photographic, medical and optical goods;
watches and clocks
Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers
Manufacture of other transport equipment
Stone, clay, glass, and concrete products
Miscellaneous manufacturing industries
ISO 9001
ISO 14001
OHSAS 18001
3.2. Measures
Operations performance was measured across the selected dimensions of quality,
environmental and health and safety performance (Shin et al., 2000; Rosenzweig and Roth,
2004; Pagell et al., 2014). Respondents were prompted to indicate their plant’s performance
compared to their major competitors. The scale ranged from one to seven where one means
far worse, four means similar and seven far better (see Table 3).
Quality performance was measured using two items with regards to product performance
and product conformance to customer specifications. Environmental performance was
measured through prompting the respondents to indicate the extent to which your plant has
performed from an environmental perspective during the past two years. The scale ranged
from one to seven where one means not at all, four means to some extent seven to a great
extent. Four items are used to represent the environmental performance dimension (see Table
3). Occupational health and safety performance was measured through the same scale as used
for the environmental dimension. Again four items were used to represent this performance
dimension, which are also listed in Table 3.
Buyer certification was measured through binary questions prompting the respondents to
indicate “Has your plant obtained any of the following certifications?” (ISO 9001, ISO
14001, OHSAS 18001). Furthermore, we asked the buyer to indicate the certification status
of their key suppliers through prompting Considering your key supplier (in terms of
strategic importance for your most important product line). To the best of your knowledge
which of the following certifications do they possesses?
Furthermore, we controlled for company size through number of employees. All latent
variables are listed in Table 3.
Table 3. Construct measurement items
Std. Dev.
Quality Performance
Product performance
Product conformance to customer specifications
Environmental Performance
We have reduced energy use in our facilities
We have reduced water use in our facilities
We have reduced waste at our facilities
We have reduced emissions at of our facilities
Occupational Health and Safety Performance
We have reduced the number of occupational-
related accidents at our facilities
We have reduced the number of occupational-
related injuries at our facilities
We have reduced occupational-related ill health at
our facilities
We have reduced the number of occupational-
related insurance claims at our facilities
3.3. Construct validation
We conducted exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to validate our measures and to confirm
our proposed factor structure (using SPSS 20 for this and subsequent analyses). We decided
on conducting EFA instead of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) because of our relatively
small sample size. Various scholars have called for having at least 100 (e.g., Kline, 1979) or
150 (Hutcheson and Sofroniou, 1999) cases to conduct CFA. Thus, we acknowledge that our
measures are established and their factor structure has been confirmed in previous research.
But recognize the limitations of our data set and thus conducted EFA. Specifically, we
conducted principle axis factoring along with varimax rotation. As expected the EFA
converged in a three-factor solution in terms of quality, environmental and occupational
health & safety performance.
Results presented in Table 3 indicate relatively high factor loadings with the lowest value
of .603. This can be interpreted as an initial indicator of the validity of our identified factor
structure (Nunnally, 1978). Furthermore, no cross-loadings were detected in our solution. The
initial eigenvalue for the quality performance factor was 5.074, the environmental
performance factor 1.679 and for the occupational health & safety performance factor 1.408.
Resulting in a cumulative percentage of the initial values of 81.62 %. The cumulative
parentage of the rotation sums of squared loadings resulted in 73.57 %. These are also further
signs of construct validity.
Finally, Cronbach’s alpha () has been used to test for reliability. The Cronbach’s alpha
values listed in Table 3 are all above the commonly accepted level of .7, which indicates that
reliability is satisfactory. Based on the above analyses, the validity and reliability of our
scales were established.
Table 4 presents the Pearson correlation between the composite score of our explored factor
structure. We will continue our analyses using the composite score to test our hypotheses.
Table 4. Correlations
Buyer’s ISO 9001 certification (1)
Buyer’s ISO 14001 certification
Buyer’s OHSAS 18001
certification (3)
Supplier’s ISO 9001 certification
Supplier’s ISO 14001 certification
Supplier’s OHSAS 18001
certification (6)
Quality Performance (7)
Environmental Performance (8)
Occupational Health & Safety
Performance (9)
Size (10)
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).
3.4. Common method variance bias
We test for common method bias through conducting the Harman’s one-factor test
(Podsakoff et al., 2003). Thus we loaded all items on a non-specified factor in an un-rotated
factor structure. The first factor accounts for 50.74% of variance, and the other items load on
different factors. Thus, we expect that common method variance does not pose a threat to our
4. Results
To test our three hypotheses, we conducted a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Specifically, we calculated three models to determine the effects of joint ISO 9001 (i.e.,
buyer and supplier are certified) on quality performance, joint ISO 14001 (i.e., buyer and
supplier are certified) on environmental performance and joint OHSAS 18001 (i.e., buyer and
supplier are certified) on occupational health and safety performance. Thus, the dependent
variables were the three performance dimensions for each certification (i.e., quality,
environmental, and occupational health & safety performance) and the fixed factors were the
certification (i.e., ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001). In Table 5 we report the
performance differences for joint certification versus non-joint certification (i.e., supplier is
not certified).
Table 5. Cross-Tab: Certifications and Performance
Joint ISO 9001/
Non-Joint 9001
Joint ISO 14001/
Non-Joint 14001
Joint OHSAS 18001/
Non-Joint 18001
Quality Performance (mean; Std.
5.18; .779/
6.10; .686
Environmental Performance
(mean; Std. Dev.)
5.14; 1.20/
4.19; 1.31
Occupational Health & Safety
Performance (mean; Std. Dev.)
5.59; 1.11/
4.70; 1.11
In Table 6 we report the results of the ANOVA test for our quality model. Results indicate
a statistical difference between the two groups (F=16.200; p=.000). However, contrary to our
hypothesis one having both buyer and the supplier ISO 9001 certified leads to significantly
lower quality (Quality Mean = 5.18) performance levels as if only the buyer would be
certified (Quality Mean = 6.10).
Table 6. ISO 9001 ANOVA results
ISO 9001/
Quality Performance
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
Between Groups
Within Groups
In Table 7 we report the results of the ANOVA test for our environmental model. Results
indicate a statistical difference between the two groups (F=8.022; p=.006). These results
confirm our second hypothesis. Having both, buyers and the suppliers ISO 14001 certified
leads to significantly higher environmental (Environmental Mean = 5.14) performance levels
as if only the buyer would be certified (Environmental Mean = 4.19).
Table 7. ISO 14001 ANOVA results
ISO 14001/
Environmental Performance
Sum of Squares
Mean Square
Between Groups
Within Groups
In Table 8 we report the results of the ANOVA test for our occupational health & safety
model. Results indicate a statistical difference between the two groups (F=7.339; p=.009).
These results confirm our second hypothesis. Having both, buyers and the suppliers OHSAS
18001 certified leads to significantly higher occupational health & safety (Occupational
Health & Safety Mean = 5.59) performance levels as if only the buyer would be certified
(Occupational Health & Safety Mean = 4.70).
Table 8. OHSAS 18001 ANOVA results
OHSAS 18001/
Occupational Health & Safety Performance
Sum of
Between Groups
Within Groups
Thus, in concluding our empirical results we find that two of our three proposed
hypotheses are supported (H2 and H3). We will discuss these results in the following sections
in terms of their managerial and theoretical implications.
5. Discussion
The results confirm the hypotheses regarding environmental and occupational health &
safety certifications and performance at the supply chain level. The results indicate that when
both, suppliers and buyers, are simultaneously certified the performance levels are
significantly higher compared to cases where solely the buyer is certified. However, with
regards to ISO 9001 and quality performance our results did not confirm the initial
hypothesis one. Being ISO 9001 certified at the supplier and buyer side does not significantly
improve the buyers’ quality performance. Indeed the results indicate that this has no
significant impact on quality performance.
In attempting to explain the support for the two hypotheses related to ISO 14001 (H2) and
OSHSAS 18001 (H3) and no support for the hypothesis which investigated ISO 9001 (H1),
the institutional theory can be consulted. It could be argued that ISO 9001 certification was
viewed by firms as a way to differentiate themselves from competitors. In other words, it was
as an order-winning criterion. It has been suggested by Cole (1998) that suppliers may
consider quality certification as a primary tool in signalling their credentials to customers.
However, given that the standard is well embedded within many organisations, it has become
an essential requirement for many customers. Hence, suppliers may be tempted to view the
implications of certification from a superficial perspective (Dick, 2000), rather than
promoting good quality practices. This anomaly between the external certification
requirements and the internal organisational quality practices may result in a disconnect, with
the standard being implemented simply to comply with institutional pressures.
According to institutional theory, early adopters of a process standard are motivated by the
technical efficiency provided by the standard, while late adopters are motivated more by the
symbolic value that the standard represents (Meyer and Rowan, 1977). As ISO 9001 is
increasingly institutionalised, organisations could invoke the socially legitimate goal of ISO
9001 certification without being dedicated to its principles (Westphal et al., 1997). Based on
this institutional effect, organizations signal their compliance with institutional demands
through symbolic adoption alone and rigorous implementation becomes unnecessary (Guler
et al., 2002). The implication is that this would negatively impact performance.
Turning to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001, from an institutional perspective, certification
helps supplier firms signal legitimacy to major customers (Staw and Epstein, 2000). Previous
research showed that ISO 9001 was adopted partially for legitimating reasons (Qi et al.,
2011); hence it is likely that OHSAS and ISO 14001 certification would have a similar effect.
OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 are interpreted as a signal of a firm’s commitment to health
and safety and/or environmental management. Given the increasing demand for organisations
to at least appear to meet expectations about health and safety and the environment, such
pressure could be a powerful driver toward certification.
However, if this perspective is correct, then it is unlikely that operational performance
would remain unchanged as a result of certification to OHSAS 18001 and/or ISO 14001. In
other words, if we consider the questionnaire there would be no improvement in
environmental performance due to reductions in energy, water use, waste and emissions. Nor
would there be health and safety improvements due to reductions in accidents, injuries, ill
health and insurance claims. The improvements in performance, when buyers and suppliers
have environmental and/or health and safety certification are evident given the positive
results for H2 and H3. This study contributes to the overall certification literature by showing
that ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 that are premised on developing production systems
processes that can deliver significant increases in operational performance (Weick et al,
Another reason that might explain the negative performance results for ISO 9001, is that
OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001 require a much wider stakeholder base relative to ISO 9001.
The ISO 9001 standard tends to focus on customers and satisfying their requirements. The
other two standards, on the other hand, need to consider the influence of stakeholders from
customers to society at large. Given the higher level of scrutiny that this entails, the
implication is that this leads to improved performance in terms of environment and
occupational health and safety for buyers and suppliers (Castka and Balzarova, 2008).
From a management perspective, the results suggest that certified suppliers have an
important role to play in the buyer-supplier relationship, particularly with regard to
improving environmental and occupational health and safety performance. However, for
buyer organisations this may involve active investment in the supply base, particularly
smaller suppliers. For example, Nawrocka et al (2009) reports procurement managers in
several organisations providing training and expert knowledge to their supply base. Such
measures improved their environmental awareness and prepared the suppliers for more
advanced work, such as working towards ISO 14001 or OHSAS 18001 certification. At the
same time, companies may wish to focus their resources on more strategically important
suppliers during the certification process. Arimura et al. (2011) provides examples of
companies investing in modifications to the production line of strategic suppliers in to
improve environmental and health and safety performance. This is supported by Klassen and
Vachon (2003), who found that closer relations to suppliers concerning product related
activities were connected to higher tendencies for cooperation on environmental and social
It should also be noted that even though the results would appear to suggest that there is
no performance benefit for firms from having ISO 9001 certification, having in place quality
management processes and practices should make it easier for buyers and suppliers to
implement other standards, such as, ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001, as they require similar
infrastructure and knowledge requirements (Curkovic et al., 2000).
There are a number of limitations with the current study. Firstly, it was country specific
and focused on Ireland. Future work should extend the research to consider other
jurisdictions. Secondly, it would be useful, given the increased attention to integrated
management systems to consider the complementary effect of multiple standards on
performance. Thirdly, related to the small sample size it was not feasible to test for the
possible confounding implications of industry on our results. However, we do solely include
manufacturing firms in our sample. Finally, the study considered three meta-standards, future
work could look at other certification programmes, such as ISO 26000 on social
6. Conclusion
In recent years, firms have implemented quality (ISO 9001), environmental (14001) and
occupational health and safety (OHSAS 18001) management standards, in order to remain
competitive and meet their stakeholders’ objectives. As these standards mature there is a
movement by firms to encourage suppliers along the supply chain to consider their
implementation. The current study has tried to provide some guidance with regard to the
relationship between perceived performance and the three standards outlined above,
particularly with regard to its impact on suppliers. The institutional theory perspective
suggests that certification may be considered mainly as a signalling device. However, the
results only provide support for this contention with regard to ISO 9001 certification, but
appear to be less important for ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. This implies that these two
certifications have had more than just ceremonial benefits and can provide a mechanism for
enhanced environmental and health and safety performance.
1. Abad, J., Dalmau, I. and Vilajosana, J. (2014), Taxonomic proposal for integration
levels of management systems based on empirical evidence and derived corporate
benefits, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 78 No. 1, pp. 164-173.
2. Abad, J., Lafuente, E. and Vilajosana, J. (2013), “An assessment of the OHSAS
18001 certification process: Objective drivers and consequences on safety
performance and labour productivity”, Safety Science, Vol. 60, pp. 47-56.
3. Arimura, T.H., Darnall, N., Ganguli, R. and Katayama, H. (2016), “The effect of ISO
14001 on environmental performance: Resolving equivocal findings”, Journal of
Environmental Management, Vol. 166, pp. 556-566.
4. Arimura, T.H., Darnall, N. and Katayama, H. (2011), “Is ISO 14001 a gateway to
more advanced voluntary action? The case of green supply chain management”,
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 61 No. 2, pp. 170-182.
5. Arimura, T.H., Hibiki, A. and Katayama, H. (2008), “Is a voluntary approach an
effective environmental policy instrument?: A case for environmental management
systems”, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 55 No. 3, pp.
6. Bansal, P. and Roth, K. (2000), “Why companies go green: A model of ecological
responsiveness”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 43 No. 4, pp. 717-736.
7. Barla, P. (2007), “ISO 14001 certification and environmental performance in
Quebec's pulp and paper industry”, Journal of Environmental Economics and
Management, Vol. 53 No. 3, pp. 291-306.
8. Benner, M.J. and Veloso, F.M. (2008), “ISO 9000 practices and financial
performance: A technology coherence perspective”, Journal of Operations
Management, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 611-629.
9. Bernardo, M., Casadesus, M., Karapetrovic, S. and Heras, I. (2009), How integrated
are environmental, quality and other standardized management systems? An empirical
study”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 17 No. 8, pp. 742-750.
10. Blackman, A. (2012), “Does eco-certification boost regulatory compliance in
developing countries? ISO 14001 in Mexico”, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Vol.
42 No. 3, pp. 242-263.
11. Boiral, O. and Henri, J.F. (2012), “Modelling the impact of ISO 14001 on
environmental performance: A comparative approach”, Journal of Environmental
Management, Vol. 99, pp. 84-97.
12. Bottani, E., Monica, L. and Vignali, G. (2009), “Safety management systems:
Performance differences between adopters and non-adopters”, Safety Science, Vol. 47
No. 2, pp. 155-162.
13. Burgen, S. and Phillips, T. (2011), Zara Accused in Brazil Sweatshop Inquiry
[Online]. Available:
sweatshop-accusation [Accessed 22/04/2016].
14. Campos, L.M., de Melo Heizen, D.A., Verdinelli, M.A. and Miguel, P.A.C. (2015),
“Environmental performance indicators: A study on ISO 14001 certified companies”,
Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 99, pp. 286-296.
15. Chang, J.I. and Liang, C.L. (2009), “Performance evaluation of process safety
management systems of paint manufacturing facilities”, Journal of Loss Prevention in
the Process Industries, Vol. 22 No. , pp. 398-402.
16. Castka, P. and Balzarova, M., 2008. The impact of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 on
standardisation of social responsibility - an inside perspective. International Journal
of Production Economics, Vol. 113 No. 1, pp. 74-87.
17. Chatzoglou, P., Chatzoudes, D. and Kipraios, N. (2015), “The impact of ISO 9000
certification on firms’ financial performance”, International Journal of Operations &
Production Management, Vol. 35 No. 1, pp. 145-174.
18. Chen, C.C. (2005), “Incorporating green purchasing into the frame of ISO 14000”,
Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 13 No. 9, pp. 927-933.
19. Chen, I.J. and Paulraj, A. (2004), “Understanding supply chain management: critical
research and a theoretical framework”, International Journal of Production Research,
Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 131-163.
20. Chiarini, A. (2012), “Designing an environmental sustainable supply chain through
ISO 14001 standard”, Management of Environmental Quality: An International
Journal, 24 No. 1, pp. 16-33.
21. De Vries, H.J., Bayramoglu, D.K. and van der Wiele, T. (2012), “Business and
environmental impact of ISO 14001”, International Journal of Quality & Reliability
Management, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 425-435.
22. Fan, D. and Lo, C.K. (2012), A tough pill to swallow? The impact of voluntary
occupational health and safety management system on firms' financial performance in
fashion and textiles industries”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An
International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 128-140.
23. Choi, T.Y. and Hong, Y. (2002), “Unveiling the structure of supply networks: case
studies in Honda, Acura, and DaimlerChrysler”, Journal of Operations Management,
Vol. 20, pp. 469-493.
24. Cole, R.E. (1998), “Learning from the quality movement: What did and didn’t happen
and why?”, California Management Review, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 43-73.
25. Corbett, C.J., Montes-Sancho, M.J. and Kirsch, D.A. (2005), “The financial impact of
ISO 9000 certification in the United States: An empirical analysis”, Management
Science, Vol. 51 No. 7, pp. 1046-1059.
26. Curkovic, S., Melnyk, S., Handfield, R. and Calantone, R. (2000), “Investigating the
linkage between total quality management and environmentally responsible
manufacturing”, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp.
27. Curkovic, S. and Sroufe, R. (2011), “Using ISO 14001 to promote a sustainable
supply chain strategy, Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 71-
28. Darnall, N., Jolley, G.J. and Handfield, R. (2008), “Environmental management
systems and green supply chain management: complements for sustainability?”,
Business Strategy and the Environment, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 30-45.
29. Dick, G. (2000), “ISO 9000 certification benefits, reality or myth?”, The TQM
Magazine, Vol. 12 No. 6, pp. 365-371.
30. Dick, G.P., Heras, I. and Casadesús, M. (2008), “Shedding light on causation between
ISO 9001 and improved business performance”, International Journal of Operations
& Production Management, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 687-708.
31. ESB (2016), ESB Supplier Charter [Online], Available: [Accessed
32. Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J.M. and Vázquez-Ordás, C.J. (2009), “Relation
between occupational safety management and firm performance”, Safety Science,
Vol. 47 No. 7, pp. 980-991.
33. Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J.M. and Vázquez-Ordás, C.J. (2012),
“Occupational risk management under the OHSAS 18001 standard: analysis of
perceptions and attitudes of certified firms”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 24,
pp. 36-47.
34. Fernández-Muñiz, B., Montes-Peón, J.M. and Vázquez-Ordás, C.J. (2012b), Safety
climate in OHSAS 18001-certified organisations: Antecedents and consequences of
safety behaviour”, Accident Analysis & Prevention, Vol. 45, pp. 745-758.
35. Gray, J.V., Anand, G. and Roth, A.V. (2015), “The influence of ISO 9000
certification on process compliance”, Production and Operations Management, Vol.
24 No. 3, pp. 369-382.
36. Grimm, J.H., Hofstetter, J.S. and Sarkis, J. (2014), “Critical factors for sub-supplier
management: A sustainable food supply chains perspective”, International Journal of
Production Economics, Vol. 152 No. 1, pp. 159-173.
37. Gualandris, J. and Kalchschmidt, M. (2014), “Customer pressure and innovativeness:
Their role in sustainable supply chain management”, Journal of Purchasing and
Supply Management, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 92-103.
38. Gualandris, J. and Kalchschmidt, M. (2016), “Developing environmental and social
performance: the role of suppliers’ sustainability and buyer–supplier trust”,
International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 54 No. 8, pp. 1-17.
39. Guler, I., Guillen, M.F., Macpherson, J.M. (2002), Global competition, institutions,
and the diffusion of organizational practices: The international spread of the ISO 9000
quality certificates”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 207-232.
40. Han, S.B., Chen, S.K. and Ebrahimpour, M. (2007), The impact of ISO 9000 on
TQM and business performance”, The Journal of Business and Economic Studies,
Vol. 13 No. 2, pp, 1-23.
41. Handfield, R., Sroufe, R. and Walton, S. (2005), “Integrating environmental
management and supply chain strategies”, Business Strategy and the Environment,
Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 1-19.
42. Hohnen, P. and Hasle, P. (2011), “Making work environment auditable–A ‘critical
case’study of certified occupational health and safety management systems in
Denmark”, Safety Science, Vol. 49, pp. 1022-1029.
43. Hora, M., Bapuji, H. and Roth, A.V. (2011), “Safety hazard and time to recall: The
role of recall strategy, product defect type, and supply chain player in the US toy
industry”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 29 No. 7-8, pp. 766-777.
44. Huo, B., Han, Z. and Prajogo, D. (2014), The effect of ISO 9000 implementation on
flow management”, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 52, pp. 6467-
45. Hutcheson, G. and Sofroniou, N. (1999), The multivariate social scientist:
Introductory statistics using generalized linear models. Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage
46. Hwang, I., Radhakrishnan, S. and Su, L. (2006), “Vendor certification and appraisal:
Implications for supplier quality”, Management Science, Vol. 52 No. 10, pp. 1472-
47. ISO Central Secretariat (2009a), “Selection and use of the ISO 9000 family of
48. ISO Central Secretariat (2009b), Environmental management The ISO 14000
family of international standards,, (22.10.2015).
49. King, A.A., Lenox, M.J. and Terlaak, A. (2005), “The strategic use of decentralized
institutions: Exploring certification with the ISO 14001 management standard”,
Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 48 (6), pp. 1091-1106.
50. Klassen, R. and Vachon, S. (2003), “Collaboration and evaluation in the supply chain:
the impact on plant-level environmental investment”, Production and Operations
Management, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 336-352.
51. Kline, P. (1979). Psychometrics and psychology, London, Acaderric Press.
52. Koplin, J., Seuring, S. and Mesterharm, M. (2007), “Incorporating sustainability into
supply management in the automotive industry–the case of the Volkswagen AG”,
Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 15 No. 11-12, pp. 1053-1062.
53. Krause, D.R., Handfield, R.B. and Tyler, B.B. (2007), “The relationships between
supplier development, commitment, social capital accumulation and performance
improvement”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 25, pp. 528-545.
54. Lafuente, E., BayoMoriones, A. and GarcíaCestona, M. (2010), “ISO9000
certification and ownership structure: Effects upon firm performance. British Journal
of Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 649-665.
55. Lam, P.T., Chan, E.H., Chau, C., Poon, C. and Chun, K. (2011), “Environmental
management system vs green specifications: How do they complement each other in
the construction industry?”, Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 92, pp. 788-
56. Lambert, D.M. and Cooper, M.C. (2000), Issues in supply chain management”,
Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 29, pp. 65-83.
57. Lee, A.H., Kang, H.Y., Hsu, C.F. and Hung, H.C. (2009), “A green supplier selection
model for high-tech industry”, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp.
58. Lee, S.Y. (2015), “The effects of green supply chain management on the supplier’s
perfomrance through social capital accumulation”, Supply Chain Management: An
International Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 42-55.
59. Levine, D.I. and Toffel, M.W. (2010), “Quality management and job quality: How the
ISO 9001 standard for quality management systems affects employees and
employers”, Management Science, Vol. 56 No. 6, pp. 978-996.
60. Lo, C.K., Pagell, M., Fan, D., Wiengarten, F. and Yeung, A.C. (2014), “OHSAS
18001 certification and operating performance: The role of complexity and coupling”,
Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 32, pp. 268-280.
61. Lo, C.K., Wiengarten, F., Humphreys, P., Yeung, A.C. and Cheng, T. (2013), “The
impact of contextual factors on the efficacy of ISO 9000 adoption”, Journal of
Operations Management, Vol. 31, pp. 229-235.
62. Lund-Thomsen, P. and Lindgreen, A. (2014), “Corporate social responsibility in
global value chains: Where are we now and where are we going?”, Journal of
Business Ethics, Vol. 123 No. 1, pp. 11-22.
63. Maloni, M.J. and Brown, M.E. (2006), “Corporate social responsibility in the supply
chain: an application in the food industry”, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 68 No. 1,
pp. 35-52.
64. Marshall, D., McCarthy, L., McGrath, P. and Claudy, M. (2016), “Going above and
beyond: How sustainability culture and entrepreneurial orientation drive social
sustainbility supply chain practice adoption”, Supply Chain Management: An
International Journal, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 434-454.
65. Melnyk, S.A., Sroufe, R.P. and Calantone, R.J. (2003), “A model of site-specific
antecedents of ISO 14001 certification”, Production and Operations Management,
Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 369385.
66. Meyer, J.W. and Rowan, B. (1977), “Institutionalized organizations: formal structure
as myth and ceremony”, American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 83 No. 2, pp. 340-363.
67. Montabon, F., Sroufe, R. and Narasimhan, R. (2007), An examination of corporate
reporting, environmental management practices and firm performance”, Journal of
Operations Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 998-1014.
68. Morris, P. W. (2006), “ISO 9000 and financial performance in the electronics
industry”, Journal of American Academy of Business, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 227-235.
69. Nawrocka, D., Brorson, T. and Lindhqvist, T. (2009), “ISO 14001 in environmental
supply chain practices”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 17 No. 16, pp. 1435-
70. Nishitani, K., Kaneko, S., Fujii, H. and Komatsu, S. (2012), “Are firms’ voluntary
environmental management activities beneficial for the environment and business?
An empirical study focusing on Japanese manufacturing firms”, Journal of
Environmental Management, Vol. 105, pp. 121-130.
71. Norrman, A. and Jansson, U. (2004), “Ericsson's proactive supply chain risk
management approach after a serious sub-supplier accident”, International Journal of
Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 434-456.
72. Nunnally, J.C. (1978). Psychometric theory. McGraw Hill, New York.
73. OHSAS Project Group (2011), “Results of the survey into the availability of OH&S
standards and certificates, up until 2009-12-31”,
content/uploads/2011/05/2009-OHSAS-Certificates-Survey-Results.pdf, (assessed on
74. Pagell, M., Wu, Z. and Wasserman, M.E. (2010), “Thinking differently about
purchasing portfolios: an assessment of sustainable sourcing”, Journal of Supply
Chain Management, Vol. 46 No. 1, pp. 57-73.
75. Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B., Lee, J. and Podsakoff, N.P. (2003), “Common
method bias in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and
recommended remedies”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 88 No. 5, pp. 879-903.
76. Potoski, M. and Prakash, A. (2005), “Covenants with weak swords: ISO 14001 and
facilities' environmental performance”, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management,
Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 745-769.
77. Prajogo, D., Huo, B. and Han, Z. (2012), “The effects of different aspects of ISO
9000 implementation on key supply chain management practices and operational
performance”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3,
pp. 306-322.
78. Psomas, E.L., Pantouvakis, A. and Kafetzopoulos, D.P. (2013), “The impact of ISO
9001 effectiveness on the performance of service companies”, Managing Service
Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 149-164.
79. Qi, G., Zeng, S., Yin, H. and Lin, H. (2013), “ISO and OHSAS certifications: how
stakeholders affect corporate decisions on sustainability”, Management Decision, Vol.
51, pp. 1983-2005.
80. Sharma, D.S. (2005), “The association between ISO 9000 certification and financial
performance”, The International Journal of Accounting, Vol. 40 No. 2, pp. 151-172.
81. Singh, M., Brueckner, M. and Padhy, P.K. (2014), “Insights into the state of
ISO14001 certification in both small and medium enterprises and industry best
companies in India: The case of Delhi and Noida”, Journal of Cleaner Production,
Vol. 69, pp. 225-236.
82. Singh, P.J., Power, D. and Chuong, S.C. (2011), “A resource dependence theory
perspective of ISO 9000 in managing organizational environment”, Journal of
Operations Management, Vol. 29, pp. 49-64.
83. Srivastav, A. K. (2011), “ISO 9000 as an organisation development intervention” The
TQM Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 313-325.
84. Staw, B.M. and Epstein, L.D. (2000), “What band wagons bring: effects of popular
manage- ment techniques on corporate performance, reputation, and CEO pay”,
Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 523556.
85. Starke, F., Eunni, R.V., Manoel Martins Dias Fouto, N. and Felisoni de Angelo, C.
(2012), “Impact of ISO 9000 certification on firm performance: evidence from
Brazil”, Management Research Review, Vol. 35 No. 10, pp. 974-997.
86. Testa, F., Rizzi, F., Daddi, T., Gusmerotti, N.M., Frey, M. and Iraldo, F. (2014),
“EMAS and ISO 14001: the differences in effectively improving environmental
performance”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 68, pp. 165-173.
87. Vachon, S. and Klassen, R.D. (2006), “Green project partnership in the supply chain:
the case of the package printing industry”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 14,
pp. 661-671.
88. Vanpoucke, E., Vereecke, A. and Boyer, K.K. (2014), “Triggers and patterns of
integration initiatives in successful buyer–supplier relationships”, Journal of
Operations Management, Vol. 32, pp. 15-33.
89. Vinodkumar, M. and Bhasi, M. (2011), “A study on the impact of management
system certification on safety management”, Safety Science, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 498-
90. Weick, K., Sutcliffe, K. and Obstfeld, D. (1999), “Organizing for high reliability:
processes of collective mindfulness”, Research in Organizational Behavior, Vol. 21,
pp. 2381.
91. Westphal, J.D., Gulati, R. and Shortell, S.M. (1997), “Customization or conformity?
An institutional and network perspective on the content and consequences of TQM
adoption”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 42 No. 2, pp. 366-394.
92. Wiengarten, F., Pagell, M. and Fynes, B. (2013), “ISO 14000 certification and
investments in environmental supply chain management practices: identifying
differences in motivation and adoption levels between Western European and North
American companies”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 56, pp. 18-28.
93. Wilhelm, M.M., Blome, C., Bhakoo, V. and Paulraj, A. (2016), Sustainability in
multi-tier supply chains: Understanding the double agency role of the first-tier
supplier”, Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 41, pp. 42-60.
94. Zobel, T. (2013), “ISO 14001 certification in manufacturing firms: a tool for those in
need or an indication of greenness?”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 43, pp. 37-
95. Zutshi, A. and Sohal, A.S. (2004), Adoption and maintenance of environmental
management systems: critical success factors”, Management of Environmental
Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 399-419.
... Companies that partner strategically with their customers and suppliers have reported increased operational performance and enhanced competitiveness (Heras-Saizarbitoria 2018; Wang et al. 2018;Wiengarten et al. 2018;Chang, Wong, and Chiu 2019;Nguyen and Harrison 2019;Yu and Huo 2019a;Zhao et al. 2019). ...
... A number of recent studies confirmed measurement equivalence in the GMRG data set through various tests (e.g. Schoenherr and Narasimhan (2012), Wiengarten et al. (2018); (Onofrei et al. 2019)). ...
Full-text available
Leveraging suppliers and customers, in order to build closer inter‐organisational ties, is often highlighted as a competitive priority in global supply chains (SCs). The creation of relational capital (RC) within a firm is a well‐researched concept; however, few studies investigated the customer/supplier leveraging mechanisms that build relational capital in SCs. In this study, we propose a model to examine the effects of supplier and customer leveraging on the creation of RC, which impacts innovation performance (IP). The empirical data for this study were drawn from the fifth round of the Global Manufacturing Research Group survey project (data collected from 557 manufacturing plants, in 10 countries). The hypotheses were empirically tested using structural equation modelling. The findings highlight the importance of SC leveraging towards building RC, in order to enhance innovation performance. The results show that supplier and customer leveraging positively impact the RC. In turn, the RC has a significant impact on IP. We found that the effect of SC leveraging directly and indirectly (partial mediated by RC) associates with the innovation performance. These findings are underpinned by the relational view, which argues that the relationships between firms are an important unit of analysis for understanding competitive advantage.
... Questioner was designed by using relevant major indication factors which were found through the literature review. Complying level of quality standards (Wiengarten et al., 2018), developed inventory management system (Cesarelli et al., 2021) to develop the food supply chain, strong culture of the organization (Prasanna and Haavisto 2018) and current strategies (Dung, 2015) were the indicator factors of the collaboration. Properly managed continuations (Blos, Hoeflich and Miyagi, 2015) to indicate the continuation and green practices (Hsu et al., 2015) to indicate strategic orientation were used. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sri Lankan natural food industry was severely affected by the effect of post Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis. This study was focused to find the most impacting factors which develop the natural food supply chain in Sri Lanka. Collaboration, continuation, strategic orientation, risk management and proactivity were the factors tested in this study collecting 205 samples from the staff members who are currently involving throughout the natural food supply chain in different sections in Sri Lanka by using an especially designed online questionnaire. Results indicated that each tested factor has a positive relationship for the development of the natural food supply chain and the selected factors are responsible for the development of natural food supply chain in Sri Lanka as a percentage of 30.6%.
... Customer environmental pressures (CEP) have been described as the increasing demands on environmental compliances from buyers, such as environmental vendor certification (Holguín-Veras, Campbell, Kalahasthi, & Wang, 2017;Lee, 2019;Wiengarten, Onofrei, Humphreys, & Fynes, 2018), customer environmental direct investment (Caniëls, Gehrsitz, & Semeijn, 2013;Pagell et al., 2013;Yalabik & Fairchild, 2011) and customer environmental collaborative activities (Caniëls et al., 2013;Melander, 2017). From manufacturing firms' point of view, those high customers' environmental requirements create significant pressures on environmental management processes as well as ability to demonstrate the environmental outputs. ...
Full-text available
Purpose This study aims to explore the joint effects of environmental customer and green reputation pressures (GRP) on environmental management systems (EMSs), and their linkages to environmental and business performance, especially among export manufacturers. Design/methodology/approach This study collected empirical data from 437 manufacturers in multiple countries to explore differences in handling environmental customer and reputation pressures among export and domestic manufacturers and the subsequent performance implications. Findings The results indicate that although the GRPs might initially enhance firms’ environmental compliance and reputation, they can also support EMSs and sustainable performance. Furthermore, as firms increase their engagement in exports, both environmental customer and GRPs intensify, leading to stronger EMS implementation as well as sustainable performance, mainly in environmental measures. Practical implications The findings suggest that the international market orientation is an important context to understand sustainability developments. Originality/value The study offers an alternative approach to understanding the environmental customer and GRPs, to accommodate resources for sustainability development.
... CGP has been described as the increasing demand for environmental compliances from buyers, such as environmental vendor certification (Holguín-Veras, Campbell, Kalahasthi, & Wang, 2017;D. Lee, 2019;Wiengarten, Onofrei, Humphreys, & Fynes, 2018). According to the institutional view, firms absorb external pressures and may convert them into organizational regulations (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). ...
Meeting customers' green requirements for manufacturing firms has been a continuing debate but with mixed results. Based on the innovation diffusion theory, this study argues that process innovation can be an important conduit to absorb customers' green pressures to enhance sustainable measures. The empirical results from 680 manufacturers in ten different countries, confirmed the relationship between the customer green pressures and sustainability performance. Initially, manufacturers might find themselves less motivated in investing environmental initiatives due to limited business performance improvements, however, process innovation can fully absorb external pressures and enhance business measures such as growth and market share. Furthermore, as firms engage more in exports, environmental customer pressures intensify and in turn influence process innovation Export developments led to proactive approach in handling customer green pressures and leading to better sustainable measures, mainly in environmental measures, but not financial performance. The findings highlight the importance of process innovation in sustainability development and offer managerial guidelines for export-oriented industries in aligning customer environmental demands to accommodate resources for development of sustainable strategies.
... These certification processes have assisted organizations in their supplier selection process as certification is an indication that the supplier is committed to supplying quality products that are produced under acceptable environmental conditions (Wiengarten et al., 2018). Mukamutembe and Mulyungi (2018) in their study based on the Skol Breweries Rwanda limited, concluded that ICT greatly improved the buyer-supplier relationship and had a positive effect on the organizational performance of the buying firm and its key suppliers were able to share critical information in real time. ...
Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the overall coordination, collaboration and information sharing between an organization and its suppliers. The study focused on the effect of supplier relationship management on organizational performance for firms in the plastic manufacturing industry in Harare. This research adopted an interpretivism philosophy and data was collected using open-ended questionnaires and telephonic interviews. The population was derived from plastic manufacturing companies operating in Harare. A purposive sampling technique was used to select twenty participants. The study findings revealed that organizations in the plastic industry enjoyed several supplier relationship management benefits that included information sharing and involvement of suppliers in new product development as these contributed positively to their overall organizational performance. However, firms in the plastic manufacturing industry also encountered supplier relationship management challenges that affected their organization’s performance. Challenges such as organizations failing to meet their obligations to the buyer–supplier relationship resulting in negative reactions by suppliers. Supplier relationship management implementation was also constrained by challenges that included the unavailability of supplier relationship management (SRM) team and lack of resources to support the SRM system. It was however noted that organizations in the plastic of supplier relationship management to the organizational performance. These strategies included open communication with suppliers for the purposes of sharing critical information, the involvement of suppliers in the new product manufacturing industry implemented SRM strategies that ensured the positive contribution development and supplier certification as a pre-requisite to supplier engagement. The study, therefore, recommends that organizations in the plastic manufacturing industry continue to develop and maintain clear lines of communication with their suppliers. These would enable suppliers to share information that is critical in their strategic decision-making process. Further recommendations were also made to the effect that organizations in the plastic manufacturing industry should always endeavor to honor their obligation to the buyer-supplier relationship.
... This is likely primarily because ISO 9001 does not directly address environmental performance. Wiengarten et al. (2018) considered the performance implications of quality and environmental certifications at the supply chain level (with certified buying and supplying organizations). The study involved a survey of manufacturing plant managers at 59 firms in Ireland. ...
Design/methodology/approach: A survey-based methodology was used for this study, with textile organizations in three countries - Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The research focused on four areas related to environmental effects. The first area was the level of improvement of the organizations' environmental performance, which was examined by the methods of descriptive statistics. The second area was analyzing differences in environmental effects concerning the implementation of the systems using inferential statistics. The third area as the analysis of latent links between individual effects using factor analysis. Purpose: Comprehensive management systems such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 are designed to help organizations improve processes, ensure customer satisfaction, efficient information flow, efficient use of resources, and many other prosperous management areas. These systems can also bring unintended direct and indirect effects on organizations. In this study, we examine the environmental effects that the implementation of these management systems cause. Findings: This study's insights shed some light on the benefits of implementing more, not fewer systems with benefits to organizations and entire industries with new possibilities for economic growth that do not have to come at the expense of the environment. Originality/value: Organizations implementing management systems can realize dynamic benefits across a supply chain and within a manufacturing organization. Here we see an opportunity for ISO systems as a stepping stone to a more sustainable textile manufacturing economy.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the third and last of a sequence of three research and development roadmaps of the CyberSec4Europe project. The goal of this roadmap is to identify major research challenges in the verticals of the project, and to explain what is at stake and what can go wrong if problems are left unsolved. The verticals studied are: (i) Open Banking, (ii) Supply Chain Security Assurance, (iii) Privacy-Preserving Identity Management, (iv) Incident Reporting, (v) Maritime Transport, (vi) Medical Data Exchange, and (vii) Smart Cities. For each vertical we identify the research challenges that need to be addressed and group them according to time in three phases: short term (until the end of the project), medium term (until 2025 – Security 2025), and long term (until 2030 – Security 2030). To emphasise the European nature of these roadmaps, each vertical clearly demonstrates how it can contribute to emerging dimensions including (i) the Climate Change Dimension, (ii) the Impact on Democracy, and (iii) the new EU Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade.
Eco-efficiency analysis at multi-levels can address the disconnection between its macro-level necessity and micro-level contribution. This cross-level analysis helps policymaking on systematically improving the sustainability of industry. Therefore, in this study, the dual-level eco-efficiency evaluation combing with interactive econometric analysis was applied for contributing a more holistic view of sustainable management in the heavy pollution industry. The empirical study was based on 12 international clothing brands and retailers' textile supply chains and their 202 major upstream manufacturers in China from 2015 to 2019. The dual-level evaluation uncovered a significant improvement in eco-efficiency both at the textile manufacturer and supply chain levels during the five years. The manufacturers' average eco-efficiency increased by 54%. The dyeing and finishing companies' efficiency of emissions to air, energy use, GHG emissions, and water use averagely increased by 165%, 39%, 28%, and 19%, respectively; discharges to water did not change significantly. Meanwhile, the interactive econometric analysis revealed the effects of green management certification, technological innovation, and the number of buyers/suppliers on dual-level eco-efficiency. The influencing mechanism of the same factor on eco-efficiency was demonstrated heterogeneous at manufacturer and supply chain levels. Adopting green management certification was an efficient facilitator to promote textile manufacturers' eco-efficiency, but not sufficient to advance supply chain's ecological performance until 2018. Conversely, inducing technological innovation can promote industry sustainability benefitting from knowledge search and absorption at the supply chain level. Depending on the multi-level lens, this study underlines that the same factor may have heterogeneous impacts at different levels and provides a drawable approach that can support decision-making on improving overall eco-efficiency for stakeholders such as companies, brands and retailers, and the government.
The International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) established the Quality Management Principles (QMP) as the foundation values aiming at drive the performance improvement of management systems (MS). Since the QMP are transversal to any ISO standard, they also may support the integration of multiple MS (the IMS) and act as the basis for achieving a higher maturity level. The literature reviewed suggests an urgency in developing strategies to handle performance shortcomings of IMS and to facilitate organisations to achieve and operate on high performance levels. Intending to contribute to this matter, the goals of this paper embrace to establish the specific common requirements (SR) amidst ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards, and to determine the quantitative efficiency of the QMP for the requirements integration. The data collection was carried out via an online survey, which was designed to be answered by representative experts in the MS and IMS field, and through literature review. Supported on the data collected, the pivotal QMP and the correlated SR were established and their scores: metrics to treat more efficiently the detected non-conformities (i.e. the shortcomings of the integration performance). Further, the results comprise the disclosure of the significant role of the QMP ‘Process Approach’ (in addition to the ‘Leadership’) for the integration. Therefore, the QMP efficiency scores might be adopted as a strategy by any organisation holding an IMS, to efficiently handle the performance limitations.
Purpose Supply chain analytics with big data capability are now growing to the next frontier in transforming the supply chain. However, very few studies have identified its different dimensions and overall effects on supply chain performance measures and customer satisfaction. The aim of this paper to design the data-driven supply chain model to evaluate the impact on supply chain performance and customer satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach This research uses the resource-based view, emerging literature on big data, supply chain performance measures and customer satisfaction theory to develop the big data-driven supply chain (BDDSC) model. The model tested using questionnaire data collected from supply chain managers and supply chain analysts. To prove the research model, the study uses the structural equation modeling technique. Findings The results of the study identify the supply chain performance measures (integration, innovation, flexibility, efficiency, quality and market performance) and customer satisfaction (cost, flexibility, quality and delivery) positively associated with the BDDSC model. Originality/value This paper fills the significant gap in the BDDSC on the different dimensions of supply chain performance measures and their impacts on customer satisfaction.
Full-text available
In light of the growing complexity of globally dispersed, multi-tier supply chains, the involvement of first-tier suppliers has become instrumental in the quest for achieving sustainability compliance along the supply chain. We describe this new responsibility as the double agency role. We employ agency and institutional theory arguments to explore the conditions under which first-tier suppliers will act as agents who fulfill the lead firm's sustainability requirements (i.e., the primary agency role) and implement these requirements in their suppliers' operations (i.e., the secondary agency role). The findings from three in-depth case studies embedded in different institutional contexts highlight the importance for lead firms to incentivize each agency role separately and to reduce information asymmetries, particularly at the second-tier level. In addition, our inductive analysis reveals several contingency factors that influence the coupling of the secondary agency role of the first-tier supplier. These factors include resource availability at the first-tier supplier's firm, the lead firm's focus on the triple-bottom-line dimension (i.e., environmental or social), the lead firm's use of power, and the lead firm's internal alignment of the sustainability and purchasing function. We integrate our findings in a conceptual framework that advances the research agenda on multi-tier sustainable supply chains, and we subsequently outline the practical implications of assigning the double agency role to first tier suppliers.
Three complete supply networks have been mapped in this study. These supply networks pertain to the center console assembly and come from three different product lines—Honda Accord, Acura CL/TL, and DaimlerChrysler (DCX) Grand Cherokee. Based on these three cases of supply networks, propositions are built concerning how the structure of supply networks operates. Based on the extant literature, we frame structure in three dimensions—formalization, centralization, and complexity. As an underlying methodology, we first conduct the within‐case analysis and then expand the analysis to cross‐case context. The three structural dimensions affect one another progressively, and the cost consideration appears to be the overarching force that shapes the supply‐network structure.
Academics and practitioners agree that excellence in supply management results in better quality, customer service, and channel performance. Yet, most of these studies are either conceptual in nature or actual case studies. The primary objective of this research is to test the impact of a supply management orientation (SMO) on the suppliers' operational performance and buyers' competitive priorities (cost, quality, delivery, flexibility). Three major research hypotheses associated with SMO, Supplier Performance (SP), and Buyer Performance (BP) are tested using a confirmatory structural equation modeling approach. The results of this research support the conclusion that an improvement (increase) in the SMO improves both the suppliers' and buyers' performance (i.e., a win–win situation for the supply chain). In addition, the influence of SMO on delivery‐ and quality‐related performance is more statistically significant than on cost or flexibility performance. In fact, when volume and process flexibility are top competitive priorities, a supply chain management orientation may not be an effective way to achieve the desired flexibility. The article ends by discussing other conclusions and suggests directions for future research.
High Reliability Organizations (HROs) have been treated as exotic outliers in mainstream organizational theory because of their unique potentials for catastrophic consequences and interactively complex technology. We argue that HROs are more central to the mainstream because they provide a unique window into organizational effectiveness under trying conditions. HROs enact a distinctive though not unique set of cognitive processes directed at proxies for failure, tendencies to simplify, sensitivity to operations, capabilities for resilience, and temptations to overstructure the system. Taken together these processes induce a state of collective mindfulness that creates a rich awareness of discriminatory detail and facilitates the discovery and correction of errors capable of escalation into catastrophe. Though distinctive, these processes are not unique since they are a dormant infrastructure for process improvement in all organizations. Analysis of HROs suggests that inertia is not indigenous to organizing, that routines are effective because of their variation, that learning may be a byproduct of mindfulness, and that garbage cans may be safer than hierarchies.
Environmental management system has become one of the main tools used by companies to handle the environmental aspects and the impacts that their activities have on the environment. In this context, this work aims to demonstrate the results of a survey that identifies a set of indicators of environmental performance to continuously manage and improve the environmental and performance management of ISO 14001 certified companies in the Southern region of Brazil. This research is descriptive as well as quantitative and adopted two methods for factor analysis, the analysis of multiple correspondences and the principal components analysis as well as a method of classification, the cluster analysis. Several companies monitor the environmental and performance management of the industrial pulp and paper/furniture/wood and textile sectors using indicators of environmental performance. As expected, organizations from the services sector do not use such indicators. The results from cluster analysis also showed that legal and other requirements and environmental aspects are the both more representative requirements. Finally, there is a great concern for companies to meet the legal requirements as well as the conservation of environmental resources.