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Maintaining a dynamic QMS: Problems arising when a QMS mainlyfocuses on certification requirements
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Many companies implement a quality management system (QMS) mainly because customers demand ISO 9001 certification from their suppliers. The requirements from ISO 9001 on the QMS can therefore be seen as external requirements. When implementing a QMS mainly for certification purposes, it often leads to the QMS not being used by the employees in the organization. This prevents efficient quality management (QM), process adherence and knowledge capture and sharing. It is therefore important to encourage employees to use the QMS, for which it is necessary to understand the internal aspects of the QMS. The internal aspects concern maintaining a dynamic QMS. To enable this, employees must be motivated to handle documents and update them, and to use the QMS as an information and knowledge database.

This study therefore looks into whether it is possible for a QMS to be used both for maintaining certification, and for the employees to use it as a knowledge and information database. The method used was a case study on ABB Sweden, a large manufacturing company struggling with achieving a dynamic QMS.

It was found that there is one main contradiction between the external requirements and internal aspects on a QMS; the approval process required by ISO 9001:2008 does not encourage a dynamic system where the employees are involved in the updating of the content. In addition to this contradiction, there are additional findings indicating the need for clear management commitment and recurring education on the function, purpose and content of the QMS. Lack of these to lead to lack in communication regarding purpose, function and strategy of the QMS, and lack of responsibility and accountability for processes and the QMS.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 91 p.
Keyword [en]
Quality Management System, Quality Management, Knowledge
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159241OAI: diva2:783694
Available from: 2015-01-27 Created: 2015-01-27 Last updated: 2015-01-27Bibliographically approved

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