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BUACC5931 Assignment 2 Research and statistical methods


Adoption of ISO9000 and its Relationship with other Factors in China’s Service Industry

The ISO 9000 series of quality management systems standard has been widely applied all over the world since its introduction in 1987. By the end of 2013, ISO 9000 had been adopted by over 1,129,000 facilities in 189 countries. Both academics and practitioners are interested in understanding the relationship between adoption of ISO 9000, and other factors (Christmann & Taylor, 2006; Du, Yin, & Zhang, 2016; Fikru, 2014a, 2014b, 2016; Nakamura, Takahashi, & Vertinsky, 2001; Pekovic, 2010; Wu, Chu, & Liu, 2007).

In 2008, the National Bureau of Statistics of China conducted an Economic Census of the service firms. The descriptions of variables, the coding are shown in the table. The data is available in Moodle.

Table: Variables, their descriptions and coding

No Variable name Description of the variable Coding
1 Year Year the company certified 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008
2 Certification Certification dummy 0= not certified; 1=certified
3 Industry2 Two digit industry code 58= storage and transportation; 60= telecommunication 61=computer service 62=software 74= business services 75= Research and Development 76= specialized technology services 77= technology exchange and promotion
5 Stpyear Year of the founding of the company  
6 I Employee number  
7 I_yjs Number of employees with master or doctor  
8 I_benke Number of employees with bachelor  
9 I_dz Number of employees with diploma  
10 I_gaozhong Number of employees with high school education  
11 I_chuzhong Number of employees with junior high school or below  
12 Revenue Sales of the company  
13 Profit_operation Profit of the company  
14 Ksum Total asset of the company  
15 Equity Equity of the company  
16 Kpaid Total capital  
17 Kstate Capital from government  
18 Koversea Capital from overseas  
19 Kother Capital from other sources  
20 ROS Return on sales  
21 ROA Return on assets  
22 FDIpercent Percentage of overseas investment in the total investment  
23 DFIdummy Overseas investment dummy  
24 agefirm Age of the company  

Required Task

You are expected to work in groups and write a research report. When you work on your report, you need to use the dataset, and other sources such as journal articles. If you use website material, please pay attention to the quality of the material (e.g. government website or industry website etc.). There is no word limit for the report. For the number of references, there should be at least ten academic sources (journal articles, or books). It is encouraged to use more relevant, high quality, and up to date sources in the report.

Students have a high degree of flexibility in doing the research. The important thing is that the research should be well connected with the literature.    

The required structure should be as following.

  1. Executive Summary: Major findings and major recommendations
  2. Introduction: Background (of the case); purpose (of this report); two to three research objectives for a study that you would seek to conduct; and format (of this report).
  3. Write a short literature review of at least ten academic sources relevant to your topic. Any source including books, journal articles are acceptable, as long as they are relevant. You can also use a particular website for some information. If websites are used they will be in addition of the ten academic sources.
  4. Describe the methodology and justify your choice.
  5. Analyses and findings: Run some analysis to turn the data into useful information as follows:
  6. Descriptive statistics: Sample characteristics will be described with descriptive analysis. This will include at least the following analysis: Frequency, percentage; Measures of central tendency; Measures of dispersion (variance, standard deviation)
  7. Inferential statistics: Inferential statistics will be used to analyse relationship between variables. This will include at least the following analysis (Chi-square, Pearson’s r, t-test, ANOVA test).
  8. Discussion and managerial advises: link your findings to extant literature. Advise the management about the usefulness of the findings.
  9. Limitations and directions for future research. Suggestions of how the research can be improved.
  10. Include a correctly constructed reference list of all sources used in the project, not just those used in the literature review section. Appendices also should be attached which will include all the analysis and graphs etc. that are not included in the body of the report.


Christmann, P., & Taylor, G. (2006). Firm self-regulation through international certifiable standards: determinants of symbolic versus substantive implementation. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 863-878.

Du, Y. Z., Yin, J. L., & Zhang, Y. L. (2016). How innovativeness and institution affect ISO 9000 adoption and its effectiveness: evidence from small and medium enterprises in China. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 27(11-12), 1315-1331. doi:10.1080/14783363.2015.1075874

Fikru, M. G. (2014a). Firm Level Determinants of International Certification: Evidence from Ethiopia. World Development, 64, 286-297. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2014.06.016

Fikru, M. G. (2014b). International certification in developing countries: The role of internal and external institutional pressure. Journal of Environmental Management, 144, 286-296. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.05.030

Fikru, M. G. (2016). Determinants of International Standards in sub-Saharan Africa: The role of institutional pressure from different stakeholders. Ecological Economics, 130, 296-307. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.08.007

Nakamura, M., Takahashi, T., & Vertinsky, I. (2001). Why Japanese firms choose to certify: A study of managerial responses to environmental issues. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 42(1), 23-52. doi:10.1006/jeem.2000.1148

Pekovic, S. (2010). The Determinants of ISO 9000 Certification: A Comparison of the Manufacturing and Service Sectors. Journal of Economic Issues (Taylor & Francis Ltd), 44(4), 895-914. doi:10.2753/JEI0021-3624440403

Wu, S. Y., Chu, P. Y., & Liu, T. Y. (2007). Determinants of a firm’s ISO 14001 certification: An empirical study of Taiwan. Pacific Economic Review, 12(4), 467-487. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0106.2007.00365.x