The augmented audit service: Supporting value creation beyond assuring compliance
Doktorsavhandling, 2020

For most organisations, being competitive, performing with good quality, improving customer satisfaction and increasing operational are central. Concepts such as Total Quality Management, Six Sigma and Lean have been implemented to meet these requirements. Further, ISO management system standards such as ISO 9001 have gained widespread attention to meet these demands, and ISO 9001 is now implemented by more than 1.2 million organisations worldwide. Following this diffusion of the ISO management system standards, internal and external audits have become a universal activity among certified organisations. However, audits have been reported to have had a negative association within many organisations, as they are perceived as an inspection activity, focusing on compliance and documentation, and adding disputed value. As a result, management have started to ask for return on investment for the non-negligible costs associated with certification and periodical external and internal audits. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to describe how auditing of quality management systems can be improved to support value creation beyond assuring compliance to standard requirements. This thesis mainly builds on a qualitative research design and departs from quality management, value-creation and service quality.

The five included papers contribute to the purpose of the thesis by bringing forward several findings: examples of how an organisation can operationalise practices for value-adding audits, factors that contribute to auditee satisfaction, challenges in the auditing context, and suggestions for future research. By viewing auditing as a service, these findings have been integrated into an augmented audit service model that addresses three critical areas for service quality; accessibility, interaction, and participation in the audit service. First, the accessibility of the audit service refers to how easy it is for an auditee to access the audit team/auditor and the audit service. Arguably, the accessibility is improved by adding functional experts to the audit team, being more knowledgeable about the organisation audited, and by shortening the time from audit to delivery of a target group-oriented audit report. Second, the interaction between the auditor and auditee can be improved by utilising easy and correct terminology and language, having an improvement attitude (such as focusing on process improvements), and being adaptable to the context of the quality management system. Third, by spending more time in the preparation phase of the audit, and by introducing an audit sponsor for each individual audit, closer dialogue with management is established, which enables auditees to improve their participation in the audit. This improved participation from auditees also enables auditors to better align their auditing to strategic plans and risks, thus abandoning the cyclical audit programme in favour of a more value-adding audit programme. By addressing all three areas – accessibility, interaction and participation – the audit service can be augmented to support value creation beyond assuring compliance to standard requirements.

audit

service quality

value creation

management system

ISO 9001

quality management

Digitalt
Opponent: Professor Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park, Lund University, Sweden (for a "digital seat", please send an e-mail to doktfofu.tme@chalmers.se including your full name and affiliation)

Författare

Jan Lenning

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Service Management and Logistics

ISO management system standards such as ISO 9001 have gained widespread attention, and ISO 9001 is now implemented by more than 1.2 million organisations worldwide. Following this diffusion of the ISO management system standards, internal and external audits have become a universal activity among certified organisations. However, audits have been reported to have had a negative association within many organisations, as they are perceived as an inspection activity, focusing on compliance and documentation, and adding disputed value. As a result, management have started to ask for return on investment for the non-negligible costs associated with certification and periodical external and internal audits. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to describe how auditing of quality management systems can be improved to support value creation beyond assuring compliance to standard requirements.

By viewing auditing as a service, findings in this thesis have been integrated into an augmented audit service model that addresses three critical areas; accessibility, interaction, and participation in the audit service. First, the accessibility of the audit service refers to how easy it is for an auditee to access the audit team/auditor and the audit service. Arguably, the accessibility is improved by adding functional experts to the audit team, being more knowledgeable about the organisation audited, and by shortening the time from audit to delivery of a target group-oriented audit report. Second, the interaction between the auditor and auditee can be improved by utilising easy and correct terminology and language, having an improvement attitude (such as focusing on process improvements), and being adaptable to the context of the quality management system. Third, by spending more time in the preparation phase of the audit, and by introducing an audit sponsor for each individual audit, closer dialogue with management is established, which enables auditees to improve their participation in the audit. By addressing all three areas – accessibility, interaction and participation – the audit service can be augmented to support value creation beyond assuring compliance to standard requirements.

Styrkeområden

Produktion

Ämneskategorier

Ekonomi och näringsliv

Tillförlitlighets- och kvalitetsteknik

ISBN

978-91-7905-398-7

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4865

Utgivare

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Digitalt

Online

Opponent: Professor Su Mi Dahlgaard-Park, Lund University, Sweden (for a "digital seat", please send an e-mail to doktfofu.tme@chalmers.se including your full name and affiliation)

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2020-11-14