Auditing of explorative processes
Journal article, 2018
Process management is a central part of quality management concepts like Total Quality Management, methods like Six Sigma and Lean but also of management systems standards such as ISO 9001, where it is represented by different requirements on process design, process control and process improvement. Research has been conducted on process management and the understanding of exploitation and exploration, but also the sometimes negative effects from process management practices on exploration in organisations when operating in competitive environments. The purpose of this paper is to study if internal auditors adapt to explorative processes when auditing ISO 9001 process management requirements. This paper is based on a qualitative case study in a global company in the consumer electronics industry. The study points towards that internal auditors apply ISO 9001 MSS requirements for process control across the studied organisations and processes even though the audited organisations and processes were considered to be explorative and the environment competitive. Not adapting requirements for process management, to an explorative process in a competitive environment, can stunt an organisation’s capability to be innovative, thereby negatively affecting its competitiveness.