Purpose â€“ Firms' motives in adopting ISO 9000 have been considered as one of the primary factors in determining benefits of the implementation of the standard. Literature commonly categorized motives for adopting ISO 9000 into two types, internal and external. The purpose of this paper is to examine three major strategic roles which these two types of motives play in affecting the result of the ISO 9000 adoption, namely goal, driver, and context. As a goal, motives reflect the firms' strategic outcomes in adopting ISO 9000. As a driver, motives determine the way firms implement the standard, and as a context, motives moderate the effect of implementation on firms' performance as the outcomes of ISO 9000 adoption. Design/methodology/approach â€“ Data were collected from 328 middle and senior managers of ISO 9001 certified firms in Australia who were responsible for managing quality system in their organizations. Findings â€“ Consistent with predictions, internal motives had a positive relationship with operational performance and implementation. Furthermore, from a strategic fit perspective, internal motives strengthened the relationship between implementation and performance. In contrast, external motives had no statistically significant relationship with performance and weakened the relationship between implementation and performance. Practical implications â€“ The results provide key insights for managers to appropriately evaluate their ISO 9000 certification motives and to give attention to the implementation of ISO 9000 standards. Firms can thus gain a better understanding of how performance is shaped from both the motives for and the implementation process of ISO 9000. Originality/value â€“ This paper is the first which articulates the multiple roles of firms' motives for adopting the ISO 9000 standard and examines their effects on firms' performance.
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