IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

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


  • Neumayer, Eric
  • Perkins, Richard


There is growing recognition that organizational innovations can have a major influence on the geography of economic activity. Yet, little is known about the mechanisms and geographic preconditions underlying their diffusion, particularly at the global level. In this article, we test a series of hypotheses about the conditions under which organizations are most likely to adopt ISO 9000, the internationally recognized set of standards for quality management, using panel data for 130 countries from 1995 to 2001. Our findings support the idea that transnational networks that connect different countries at the international level provide conduits for the cross-national transfer of new organizational practices. Thus, exports to the European Union, local involvement of transnational corporations (TNCs), European colonial ties, and the availability of telecommunications all emerge as statistically significant determinants of ISO adoptions. Our findings also underscore the importance of national environmental conditions in influencing the receptiveness of organizations to new practices. A low regulatory burden, a high share of manufacturing activity, high rates of secondary school enrollment, and low levels of productivity are positively correlated with the number of ISO 9000 certificates. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for current debates about the mechanisms, preconditions, and scales of organizational transfer, diffusion, and convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Neumayer, Eric & Perkins, Richard, 2005. "Uneven geographies of organizational practice: explaining the cross-national transfer and diffusion of ISO 9000," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 16271, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:16271

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:jbuset:v:148:y:2018:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3019-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Michaela Balzarova & Pavel Castka, 2012. "Stakeholders’ Influence and Contribution to Social Standards Development: The Case of Multiple Stakeholder Approach to ISO 26000 Development," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 265-279, December.
    3. Stefan Daniel Armeanu & Georgeta Vintila & Stefan Cristian Gherghina, 2017. "A Cross-Country Empirical Study Towards the Impact of Following ISO Management System Standards on Euro-Area Economic Confidence," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(44), pages 144-144, February.
    4. Herzfeld, Thomas & Drescher, Larissa S. & Grebitus, Carola, 2011. "Cross-national adoption of private food quality standards," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 401-411.
    5. Fikru, Mahelet G., 2016. "Determinants of International Standards in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of institutional pressure from different stakeholders," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 296-307.
    6. Flachsbarth, Insa & Grassnick, Nina & Masood, Amjad & Bruemmer, Bernhard, 2018. "The Uneven Spread of Private Food Quality Standards over Time and Space," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274197, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Castka, Pavel & Balzarova, Michaela A., 2008. "ISO 26000 and supply chains--On the diffusion of the social responsibility standard," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 274-286, February.
    8. Castka, Pavel & Balzarova, Michaela A., 2008. "The impact of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 on standardisation of social responsibility--an inside perspective," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 74-87, May.
    9. J. Luis Guasch & Jean-Louis Racine & Isabel Sánchez & Makhtar Diop, 2007. "Quality Systems and Standards for a Competitive Edge," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6768, November.
    10. Swinerd, Chris & McNaught, Ken R., 2015. "Comparing a simulation model with various analytic models of the international diffusion of consumer technology," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 330-343.
    11. Ueki, Yasushi, 2016. "Customer pressure, customer–manufacturer–supplier relationships, and quality control performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 2233-2238.
    12. Gilles Grolleau & Jeremy Lamri & Naoufel Mzoughi, 2008. "Déterminants de la diffusion internationale de la norme ISO 14001," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(4), pages 123-138.
    13. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:79-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Veronika Vynaryk & Aoife Hanley, 2015. "Effects of the Qms ISO 9000 Certification on Russian Manufacturing Companies," HSE Working papers WP BRP 39/MAN/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    15. Fikru, Mahelet G., 2014. "Firm Level Determinants of International Certification: Evidence from Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 286-297.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:16271. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.