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Uneven geographies of organizational practice: explaining the cross-national transfer and adoption of ISO 9000

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  • Eric Neumayer

    (London School of Economics)

  • Richard Perkins

    (University of Plymouth, School of Geography)

Abstract

There is growing recognition that organizational innovations can have a major influence on the geography of economic activity. Yet, very little is known about the mechanisms and geographic preconditions underlying their diffusion, particularly at the global level. In this paper we seek to fill this gap using the example of ISO 9000, the internationally- recognized set of standards for quality management. We develop a series of hypotheses about the conditions under which organizations are most likely to adopt ISO 9000. These hypotheses are then tested using panel data for 130 countries over the period 1995-2001. Our findings support the idea that transnational network ties linking countries to the wider global community influence adoption decisions. Thus, exports to the EU and Japan, local involvement of transnational corporations (TNCs), colonial ties to Europe and the availability of telecommunications, all emerge as statistically significant determinants of ISO 9000 counts. Our results also underscore the importance of national environmental conditions. Low regulatory burden, a high share of manufacturing activity, high rates of secondary school enrolment and low levels of productivity are positively associated with a high number of certificates. We conclude that globalization has increased the mobility of organizational innovations across national borders. Yet, country- level variations in (a) transnational network linkages and (b) environmental conditions influencing the receptiveness of organizations to new economic practices, suggest that spatial unevenness is an inevitable feature of organizational diffusion at the global level.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0403006.

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Date of creation: 19 Mar 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0403006

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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: ISO 9000; standards; cross-national diffusion; globalization; institutionalism;

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References

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  1. Dollar, David & Alesina, Alberto, 2000. "Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?," Scholarly Articles 4553020, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Dekimpe, M.G. & Parker, P.M. & Sarvary, M., 1997. ""Globalization": Modeling Technology Adoption Timing Across Countries," INSEAD 97/75, INSEAD, Centre for the Management of Environmental Resources. The European Institute of Business Administration..
  3. Kogut, Bruce & Parkinson, David, 1998. "Adoption of the Multidivisional Structure: Analyzing History from the Start," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 249-73, June.
  4. Firth, Michael, 1996. "The diffusion of managerial accounting procedures in the People's Republic of China and the influence of foreign partnered joint ventures," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 21(7-8), pages 629-654.
  5. Eric Neumayer & Richard Perkins, 2004. "What explains the uneven take-up of ISO 14001 at the global level? A panel-data analysis," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(5), pages 823-839, May.
  6. Schrader, Stephan, 1991. "Informal technology transfer between firms: Cooperation through information trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 153-170, April.
  7. Capmany, Carlos & Hooker, Neal H. & Ozuna, Teofilo, Jr. & van Tilburg, Aad, 2000. "Iso 9000 -- A Marketing Tool For U.S. Agribusiness," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 3(01).
  8. Terziovski, Mile & Power, Damien & Sohal, Amrik S., 2003. "The longitudinal effects of the ISO 9000 certification process on business performance," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 580-595, May.
  9. Vincent Frigant, 2002. "Geographical proximity and supplying relationships in modular production," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 742-755, December.
  10. Withers, Barbara & Ebrahimpour, Maling, 2000. "Does ISO 9000 certification affect the dimensions of quality used for competitive advantage?," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 431-443, August.
  11. Vloeberghs, Daniƫl & Bellens, Jan, 1996. "ISO 9000 in Belgium: Experience of Belgian quality managers and HRM," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 207-211, April.
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  1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Correa, Paulo G. & Fernandes, Ana M. & Uregian, Chris J., 2008. "Technology adoption and the investment climate : firm-level evidence for Eastern Europe and Central Asia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4707, The World Bank.
  3. Clougherty, Joseph A. & Grajek, Michal, 2006. "The Impact of ISO 9000 Diffusion on Trade and FDI: A New Institutional Analysis," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 179, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  4. Herzfeld, Thomas & Drescher, Larissa S. & Grebitus, Carola, 2008. "Spread of retailer food quality standards: An international perspective," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44005, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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