Integrated Management Systems. Theoretical and practical implications.
Journal article, 2006
Organisations worldwide strive to develop their management systems for business functions, ranging from quality and environment to safety, information security and social responsibility. During the latest decade a considerable amount of these efforts has been concentrated on introducing and applying standards such as the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The need for Integrated Management Systems (IMS) often arises as a result of decisions to implement Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and/or an occupational health and safety management system in addition to a Quality Management System (QMS) At the end of 2003, approximately 3200 organisations in Sweden had an ISO 9001 certificate, and approximately 3400 organisations had a certificate based on an EMS. Dealing with separate management systems and ensuring that they align with the organisation’s strategies and goals, has proved difficult. Owing to the large number of organisations certified according to multiple types of systems, an increasing number of organisations are establishing IMS. There are examples of companies, which chose to integrate EMS and QMS into a co-ordinated implementation approach, and although sparse, the research within this area indicates potential benefits of using an integrated approach. This paper presents both a theoretical and an empirical investigation with the aim to elucidate problems related to the integration of management systems. Furthermore, the paper will present recommendations for succeeding in such integrations and, hence, contributing to an increased understanding on how IMS should be designed and implemented.
Integrated managment systems quality management