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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Neumayer & Richard Perkins, 2004. "Uneven geographies of organizational practice: explaining the cross-national transfer and adoption of ISO 9000," Industrial Organization 0403006, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0403006
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph A Clougherty & Michał Grajek, 2008. "The impact of ISO 9000 diffusion on trade and FDI: A new institutional analysis," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(4), pages 613-633, June.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:17:y:2008:i:3:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Paulo G. Correa & Ana M. Fernandes & Chris J. Uregian, 2010. "Technology Adoption and the Investment Climate: Firm-Level Evidence for Eastern Europe and Central Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 121-147, January.
    5. Christian Volpe Martincus & Sebastián Castresana & Tomás Castagnino, 2010. "ISO Standards: A Certificate to Expand Exports? Firm-Level Evidence from Argentina," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 896-912, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • L - Industrial Organization

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