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Despite the success that the ISO 9001 standard has achieved it has been extensively criticized and empirical studies have shown controversial results about its impact on performance. The authors' conceptual study was motivated by the mentioned dilemma about ISO 9001 effectiveness, and the controversy that this dilemma raises in literature on the one hand and on the other by almost exponential growth of certifications among companies world-wide. It is their opinion that in order to understand results related to ISO 9001 implementation they need to take a step back from empirical research and instead try to analyze ISO conceptually by taking into account also the results of empirical studies implemented in the past.
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