Assessing ISO 18404 standard applicability in the service sector: a qualitative study

Michael Sony, Mariam Ali Ramadan, Jiju Antony*, Maha Khalifa Al Dhaheri, Olivia McDermott, Elizabeth A. Cudney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This research aims to establish the applicability of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 18404 standard to the service sector, identify any required amendments and identify the critical success factors and barriers to deploying the standard within the service sector.

Design/methodology/approach: The study used a qualitative approach by interviewing operational excellence (OPEX) professionals who work in the service sector. Findings: The findings indicate a significant lack of knowledge about the existence of the standard and a general scepticism regarding the applicability of the current ISO 18404 standard to the service sector. 

Research limitations/implications: Limited examples of the application of ISO 18404 in organisations exist, as only a few organisations have adopted the standard. Therefore, the research focussed on the challenges and obstacles that experienced OPEX professionals perceived could be an issue. 

Originality/value: The study will aid service sector organisations in understanding the standard and, subsequently, determine whether to pursue it as part of an OPEX programme. This research is the first study on the application of ISO 18404 to the service sector.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalTQM Journal
Early online date18 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2024

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