Integrating management systems: Does the location matter?

Alexandra Simon*, Alex Douglas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: In this article, the authors aim to start from the premise that management system standards (MSSs), such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001, should not be considered individually, but in conjunction with other systems, because of the similarities and parallelisms among them and the potential benefits of adopting an integrated management system (IMS). This paper attempts to compare the usage of integrated management systems in two of the European countries with more tradition in the field of management systems standardization: England and Spain. Design/methodology/approach: As an exploratory study, the authors used a case study approach based on the results of a questionnaire administered to quality and environmental managers working in firms registered to at least both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards in the two countries. Findings: The results of this exploratory study reveal some differences regarding the integration practices between the English and the Spanish organizations, namely in the audit process and in the difficulties and benefits encountered during the implementation of the IMS. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this study is the sample size, as the results of six organizations are not representative of the whole population. However, as an exploratory study, the results that the authors find can be useful for the analysis of the geographical dimension of IMS. Originality/value: The results of the study contribute to characterize a phenomenon that occurs in many countries, the integration of management systems. The article helps to understand whether and how the location of companies impacts on the integration of MSSs. This is, as far as the authors know, the first empirical paper that tackles this topic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-689
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2013


  • Case study analysis
  • England
  • Integrated management systems
  • ISO 14001
  • ISO 9000 series
  • ISO 9001
  • Location
  • Management techniques
  • Spain


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