Introduction The paper in review is part of the Journal “Managing Service Quality” which was published in 2010. At the time of publication the authors were researching for the University of Ioannina in Greece1 (Psomas, et al., 2010, p. 457). Evangelos Psomas was a Research Assistant and received a PhD in Total Quality Management (TQM) in 2008 (Psomas, et al., 2010, p. 457). Christos Fotopoulos is a fulltime Professor (University of Ioannina, 2012) and Dimitrios Kafetzopoulos was a PhD candidate for Food Quality Management (Psomas, et al., 2011a, p. 460). All authors have TQM as research interests in common (Psomas, et al., 2011b, p. 251) and have published several papers in Quality Management in the past four years. According to the literature review this study responds to Psomas, et al. (2010, p. 441) observation that critical success factors require constant re-investigation.
The paper is reviewing ISO 9001:2000 implementations in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Greece’s services sector with the purpose to assess critical factors for effective implementation of the ISO2 standard. The study is a deductive approached (Saunders, et al., 2009, p. 61) quantitative research defined by a random sample of 300 out of approximately 1000 ISO certified companies been selected for an e-mail survey. The survey is limited to quality managers whereof 93 responded to rate the importance of predefined critical factors on a seven-point Likert-type scale. Results of the research enlist 22 factors from most critical to least important followed by a factor analysis (Bryman & Bell, 2011, p. 170) concluding five critical areas for effectively implementing ISO 9001, in descending order of importance: “# internal motivation
# attributes of company
# employee attributes
# requirements of the quality system
# attributes of the external environment” (Psomas, et al., 2010, p. 448).
Finally the paper provides practical guidance for SME service companies effectively implementing the ISO 9001:2008 standard. Critique The paper’s architecture follows a logical structure with a title that is sufficient in length and describes the purpose of the research (Meehan, 1999, cited by Coughian, et al., 2007, p. 659) starting with an introduction followed by research questions which are concluded from preceding literature review (Rowley & Slack, 2004, p. 32), continued by a methodology elaboration and closing with a discussion on results with final conclusions.
A synthesis of the bibliography by the author of the critique resulted in a Concept Map (Rowley & Slack, 2004, p. 36) as shown in Figure 1. It demonstrates sufficient literature reviews on relevant case studies, motives and business impact evaluations and attests upto-datedness in ISO 9001 researches as all referenced studies are published within the last 10 years (Yount, 2006, p. 6.1). The majority of literature is based on peer reviewed secondary literature (Saunders, et al., 2009, p. 69) with a strong theoretical and critical discussion of concepts and models (Rowley & Slack, 2004, p. 32).
Strengths of the research method are reflected in the survey design which includes a pilot test performed by experienced researchers and practitioners to determine reliability and validity of the study (Saunders, et al., 2009, p. 394). Additionally acceptable reliability is confirmed by a reliability test3 which only 3 per cent of studies include (Bryman & Bell, 2011, p. 170).
After review on the paper’s strengths the following discussion will focus on limitations.
The study is restricted to Greece and does not assess ISO compliant companies without certification status which limits the wider scope of the paper’s title. Applied...