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The role of ISO 9001 in managing the quality of R&D activities

Jayawarna, Dilani and Pearson, Alan W. (2001) The role of ISO 9001 in managing the quality of R&D activities. The TQM magazine, 13 (2). pp. 120-128. ISSN 0954-478X

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Abstract

Recent studies of quality management systems suggest that all the quality dimensions that are expected within an integrated system are strongly associated with the basic framework set by the formal ISO 9001-based quality accreditation. However, the paradox of reducing variability through standardisation and, at the same time, constantly looking for improvements is often misunderstood in R&D. This paper reviews the R&D activities in the context of ISO 9001 and uses experience from four R&D organisations to explain its use as a strategic, process, people development and learning tool in managing the R&D function. The results revealed that even though these companies have not yet started to work towards the revised standard (ISO 9000-1:2000) they place great emphasis on bridging the gap between the requirements for quality assurance and the principles of quality management.

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