Based on the proposed 'PIE' analytical framework, this paper argues that the preparation, implementation and evaluation of international standards (ISOs) affect the competitiveness of (foreign-financed) export-oriented manufacturing industry in southern and southeastern China, both in the short- and long-term. During the period of preparation, the decision to adopt ISOs is mainly driven by market demand and/or by the decisions of established competitors. Negative effects due to the diversion of scarce resources and institutional resistance to change during the period of transitional implementation are offset by the overall enhancement of the firm's productivity in the long run. 'Tailoring for the external audit' and 'second-best' practices are two strategies commonly employed by Chinese firms to lower the transaction costs involved in ISO audits.
- International standards
- Manufacturing industry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management