شیوه های مدیریت عملیات مرتبط به تصویب ایزو 14001: تجزیه و تحلیل تجربی و تولید کنندگان اسپانیایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|6032||2008||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 113, Issue 1, May 2008, Pages 60–73
This paper explores the linkages between the practices and behaviour developed in the operations function of a company and the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard by that company. Specifically, it is argued that (1) those companies with a more proactive operations function are also the companies more inclined to develop capabilities that facilitate the development of an environmental management system in compliance with the standard and (2) the adoption of such a system is associated with the generalized implementation and development of diverse environmental management practices in the operations function. The analysis of empirical data provided by 184 Spanish manufacturers gives support to these propositions.
The ISO 14001 standard specifies a series of requirements that must be met by the environmental management system (EMS) of a company, that is, by the system used to organize and coordinate all the environmental activities and initiatives that the company develops. This standard is intended to be useful to those companies that wish to become involved with a more proactive environmental management, and its implementation allows the company to obtain a certificate of compliance that recognizes that the EMS meets the established requirements. The ISO 14001 certification has reached high levels of popularity and the number of certified companies has grown very sharply since its appearance in 1996 (Corbett and Kirsch, 2001; Viadiu et al., 2006), Europe and Japan being the geographical areas concentrating the highest number of certifications (ISO, 2003). This phenomenon has aroused academic interest in analysing the contingencies that explain the adoption of the ISO 14001 standard and the consequences derived from it (e.g. Christmann and Taylor, 2001; Delmas, 2001 and Delmas, 2002; King and Lenox, 2001a and King and Lenox, 2001b; King et al., 2005; González-Benito and González-Benito, 2005; Melnyk et al., 2003a and Melnyk et al., 2003b; Nakamura et al., 2001; Quazi et al., 2001). Within this line of research, this paper attempts to explore the linkages between those practices and behaviour developed in the operations function of a company and the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard by that company.2 The study of these linkages becomes important according to the following issues: • The development of an EMS in compliance with the ISO 14001 standard and its subsequent certification require the interest as well as the effort of the organization. Thus, it makes sense to think both that all companies are not equally prepared for initiating this process and that the achievement of the certification depends on the company's capabilities to deal with new challenges. It is therefore relevant to identify the organizational characteristics related to the adoption of the standard. Since the operations function is responsible for or at least concerned with a great deal of the activities with environmental implications (Angell and Klassen, 1999), it is important to identify which attributes of this function are associated with the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard. In particular, it is important to analyse the role played by manufacturing proactivity, it being understood as the tendency of an organization to implement all those practices, tools or management systems considered the most advanced, modern and promising within its production and operations function. • The ISO 14001 certification and, in general, setting in motion an EMS is often presented as an initial step on which diverse environmental practices and programmes can be set and developed (e.g. Kitazawa and Sarkis, 2000). In fact, it is considered as a central element of the ISO 14000 family of standards3 that establish the basis on which the rest of the standards must be implemented (ISO, 2002, p. 1). However, it is reasonable to think that some companies might limit themselves to exploiting the commercial advantages of this initial step without actually developing environmental initiatives to transform the operational processes or to keeping the diversity and intensity of such initiatives to a minimum. Inversely, companies developing a wide range of environmental initiatives might not find it helpful to adopt the ISO 14001 standard to coordinate and systematically organize all these initiatives. In other words, it is worth wondering to what extent the adoption of ISO 14001 is related to an environmental transformation of production operations and processes. With the purpose of contributing to each of these concerns, two objectives are posed in this paper: (1) To analyse the linkage between the company's manufacturing proactivity and the decision to adopt the ISO 14001 standard. (2) To analyse the relationship between the adoption of ISO 14001 and the implementation of environmental practices in the management of product design and production processes. The analysis of these linkages can be useful for managers, governments and consumers. Managers will receive some idea of the extent to which production capabilities and the role played by the operations function in the company are relevant for the achievement of ISO 14001. Governments will obtain information about the extent to which supporting and promoting the use of ISO 14001 can be a way of fostering a real and deep environmental transformation of companies. Consumers will be more able to assess whether the ISO 14001 certification represents a higher commitment of a company to the preservation of the environment or whether it is just a commercial label. The paper is structured in four more sections. Two research hypotheses about the relationship of the adoption of ISO 14001 with manufacturing proactivity and the implementation of environmental practices in the operations function are argued in Section 2. The methodology used to test these hypotheses is described in Section 3. The empirical results are commented upon in Section 4 and the main conclusions are summarized in Section 5.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper has studied the links between the adoption of the ISO 14001 standard and two phenomena that can take place in the operations function: the implementation of advanced and modern tools, practices and management systems, and the implementation of environmental practices. The first one reflects the manufacturing proactivity of the company and has two dimensions, one culturally oriented, which mainly leads to the implementation of those ‘soft’ practices that fundamentally entail changes in attitudes and ways of thinking, and another technically oriented one, which mainly leads to the implementation of ‘hard’ practices that involve the application of more sophisticated tools to manage the production processes. The second phenomenon reflects the actual commitment of the company to the natural environment and the effort made to improve environmental performance. It presents three dimensions that focus on the implementation of environmental practices in three aspects of operations management: product design, logistics processes and internal production processes. The empirical research reported in this paper indicates that those companies with the more proactive operations function are also the more likely to adopt the ISO 14001 standard. This relationship might be thought of as a consequence of the major role played by the operations function in those companies, as a consequence of the desire of the company to become different, original and innovative or even as a consequence of company size. This result is also consistent with the idea that proactive manufacturers have attitudes and capabilities that foster and facilitate the undertaking of ISO 14001 certification. From this point of view, the results suggest, on the one hand, that this causal effect is more probable in the case of cultural proactivity, perhaps because environmentally conscious management requires certain cultural changes. On the other hand, the results suggest that cultural proactivity fosters the interest of the company in initiating the certification process whereas technical proactivity facilitates the achievement of certification. In spite of the possible causal interpretations of the linkage between manufacturing proactivity and ISO 14001 certification, some managerial implications can be inferred. On the one hand, production capabilities and operations excellence seem not to be redundant for the implementation of an EMS and the achievement of the ISO 14001 certification. Managers of companies with reactive operations functions should be aware of the difficulties they might find in implementing the ISO 14001 standard and achieving certification. On the other hand, the relationship found in this paper supports the idea of compatibility between advanced manufacturing practices and ISO 14001 certification. Although previous research suggests this compatibility for some specific production practices (e.g. King and Lenox, 2001b), little evidence existed about the extent to which implementation of an EMS based on the ISO 14001 standard introduces changes that hamper the normal functioning of production practices. Therefore, operations managers should not view the adoption of ISO 14001 as a threat for the implementation and use of advanced production practices. The empirical analyses also indicate that the adoption of ISO 14001 is associated with a higher implementation of environmental management practices in the operations function. If ISO 14001 is viewed as an antecedent, as Melnyk et al. (2003a) and Sroufe (2003) do, this relationship suggests that the implementation of an EMS in compliance with the ISO 14001 standard fosters the implementation of environmental practices in the operations function. Those companies that adopt ISO 14001 go beyond the clerical work that involves the development and documentation of environmental plans, programmes and controls and undertake real changes in their productive operations. The ISO 14001 standard is hence producing the effects for which it was conceived. If ISO 14001 is viewed as a consequence, this relationship suggests that environmental proactive companies find the adoption of ISO 14001 valuable. A possible explanation is that ISO 14001 is found useful for better organizing and coordinating their environmental initiatives or for achieving public recognition of their effort. Regardless of the possible causal interpretations, this research indicates that certified companies also tend to be the companies most committed to the preservation of the natural environment. This result has important implications for governments and consumers. For the former, it supports the viability of ISO 14001 certification as an instrument to foster a higher commitment to the natural environment. Governmental initiatives aimed at promoting and supporting the achievement of ISO 14001 certification come into view as possible effective strategies to cultivate environmental proactivity. For the latter, this research suggests that, on average, the standard is not only implemented to obtain an accrediting document that gives certain commercial advantages. ISO 14001 certification can hence be effectively used by consumers as a predictor of the environmental consciousness of a manufacturer. It is important to mention as a limitation of this research that, given its static design, different causal interpretations of the results might be made. The development of longitudinal studies would be useful to test the validity of alternative arguments. Furthermore, the incorporation of new variables such as, for example, the strategic role played by the operations function in the company, could provide useful information to elucidate which causal implications are more feasible. It is also worth noting that manufacturing proactivity might actually be denoting the general proactivity of the company. The incorporation of measures of proactivity at different levels and functions of the company could help to more precisely define the relationships found in this research.