Costs and benefits of ISO 9000 series: A practical study

Hareton K N Leung, Chun Chung Chan, T. Y. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents the result of a study to identify the costs and benefits of obtaining ISO 9000 certification. Toward this goal, a survey of some 500 ISO 9000 certified companies has been carried out. Among them, more than 65 per cent believe that ISO 9001 certification is worthwhile, and more than 76 per cent believe that the cost of certification is inexpensive. The results indicate that companies which seek certification because of their customers' request seem to gain less benefit from ISO 9000 certification. We also found that concern for high costs is much less after initial certification. In addition, we discovered that contrary to many people's expectation, some factors do not have any bearing on whether benefits outweigh costs. These factors include time taken to get certified, number of years since certification, and reason for certification. Besides presenting the results of the survey, we also introduce a new classification scheme based on the company's view on the "expensiveness" of the certification and the received benefits. There are some differences in responses from companies of different classes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-690
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1999


  • Benefits
  • Certification
  • Costs
  • Hong Kong
  • ISO 9000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management

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