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Integration of standardized environmental and quality management systems audits

In the last few years, many organizations have chosen to implement standardized Management Systems (MSs), such as the ones based on ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. However, few studies exist on how firms carry out the process of auditing these MSs.
Our goal is to study how companies with more than one standardized MSs conduct the audits and to which extent they integrate the audit elements in order to benefit from the advantages of having a sole, integrated audit system.
We provide four case studies and confirm the idea that firms with more than one MS integrate their audits. However, the degree and specific characteristics of this integration vary in the different companies analyzed.
This paper contains one of the first qualitative empirical studies regarding the integration of MSs audits. The study provides an original contribution to the understanding of whether and how the four case study organizations have integrated certain aspects of the audit systems, for instance, the human resources, time, and audit inputs and outputs.

Merce Bernardo

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