Quality management system auditing: a critical exploration of practice

Kuceja, Andreas (2017) Quality management system auditing: a critical exploration of practice. DBA thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

Thesis - Kuceja.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (2MB) | Preview


The introduction of standardized quality systems and their development into quality management systems offers the opportunity to evaluate the organizational quality of business entities, regardless of their industry. For professional purchasers it has become common practice to demand evidence of the successful application of a quality management system-a necessary step in the process of pre-qualifying potential suppliers. It has become common practice to have the introduction and operation of a quality management system as a minimum requirement for contract as part of a value chain of potential clients or contracting authorities as a future or continuous supplier or service provider. Moreover, this has to be approved. To do so, purchasers can perform supplier audits or ask for evidence provided by certificates. Typically, certificates stating conformity to the requirements of a quality management system are issued by professional audit service companies, so called certification bodies. This study helps to remedy the dearth of studies concerning the effectiveness of audits conducted by certification bodies. This qualitative study uses a limited number of case studies to analyse and assess the approaches and techniques used by auditors for certification or re-certification audits. Additionally, this study attempts to understand whether auditors involved have taken into account the paradigm change of the early 2000s. To this end, auditors involved in the case studies were interviewed. The interviews were dedicated to understanding the cognitive processes of data analysis and the resulting judgements which led to the issuance of certificates stating conformance to the relevant standards. The study was completed on quality management system audits founded on the ISO 9001:2008. This standard establishes the foundation for various further industry-dedicated standards, for example the IRIS or the ISO/TS 16949. Cases studies were performed out in small sized companies and recorded through audio tape recordings, as well by notes concerning auditors’ observed actions. These were transcribed and coded. Analysis of the data indicates that auditors have a detailed idea of what is to be found, regardless the type of business an auditee conducts and the aims of a company. The structure, policy, and individual processes of the audited company did not seem to be of interest. Additionally, audits were performed on the results of audited processes more so than on the progress of the process action and their input/output relation. The interviews shed light on auditors’ understandings of the underlying concepts of the ISO 9001:2008. The results show that the auditors examined still have problems with applying these concepts for their audit practices. Furthermore, the study shows the relationship between power and independence of auditors and their impact on effectiveness. Consequently, the study shows that a certificate issued by a professional audit service does not guarantee conformance to the ISO 9001:2008.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Veale, Franciscafveale@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/francisca-veale/
Fass, Michaelmfass@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/michael-fass/
Uncontrolled Keywords: Audit effectiveness; Auditor behaviour; Quality management audits; Third-party audits; Certification audits
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD58 Organizational behavior, change and effectiveness. Corporate culture
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2017 13:02
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:11
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/4949

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.