RSM PhD alumna Başak Manders wins Quality Management Research Award

Başak Manders has been awarded the 2016 Quality Management Research Award for her PhD thesis entitled Implementation and Impact of ISO 9001, that she completed at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) in 2015. This award is presented each year by the Netherlands’ Network for Quality Management (NNK) and the Dutch Academy for Quality (DAQ) for management research that is conducted excellently, and is ground-breaking and innovative. In her research, Manders demonstrates that ISO 9001 leads to operational and market benefits in the majority of cases.

Manders’ study is characterised by extensive statistical analyses of enormous volumes of data. The use of meta-analyses is not new in academic practice, and is particularly commonplace in medical literature. But in quality management literature, it can be qualified as innovative. According to the jury, Manders’ thesis is an important study that applies new methods and answers questions about the implementation of quality systems from different perspectives.


The jury report stated: “In this dissertation, Başak has asked and answered questions from different perspectives. The first question is posed from an organisational perspective: in a large-scale meta-analysis, she studied the link between the implementation of ISO 9001 and business performance. She found a positive correlation existed with turnover. Significantly, the link between ISO 9001 and business performance depended on a number of factors, such as certification period, version of the norm, area of the world, business sector, and business size.”

The second question was posed from a country perspective. “In another meta-analysis she studied the influence of national culture and level of economic development on the link between ISO 9001 and business performance. This analysis revealed that ISO 9001 offers clear advantages, especially in countries with low economic development. Cultural factors also play a role.”

Employee perspective

The jury report continued: “The third question was posed from an employee perspective: in an exploratory case study, the engagement of employees with the implementation of a quality management system was analysed. Knowledge of the ISO 9001 standard, believing in the usefulness of the standard, and the easy application of the standard were major factors in determining the attitude of employees and thus the success of the implementation of a quality management system.

In the concluding chapter, the consequences of the research study are discussed for theory, methodology, business management, certification bodies and consultants.”

RSM nominees

The award was presented by the jury chair Kees de Vaal on 11 November 2016. The other three nominees also presented their research studies at the event. These nominees included Simon den Uijl, who also received his doctorate at RSM in 2015, for his study The emergence of de-facto standards. The promotor of both Başak Manders and Simon den Uijl was Professor Knut Blind and their co-promotor and daily supervisor was Dr Henk de Vries.

Watch Manders’ short research video on RSM Discovery.

Download Manders’ research: Implementation and Impact of ISO 9001.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading research-based business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

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