Decertification in quality-management standards by incrementally and radically innovative organizations

Joseph A. Clougherty, Michał Grajek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on quality-management standards has generally focused on the drivers, motivations, and performance effects of adopting such standards. Yet the last decade has witnessed a substantial degree of decertification behavior, as organizations have increasingly decided to voluntarily withdraw from quality-management standards by not recertifying. While the drivers of the decision to initially adopt quality-management standards have been extensively studied, the drivers of the decision to decertify have received scant scholarly attention. We argue that innovative organizations are generally prone to retaining quality-management certification and thus exhibit a tendency to not abandon certification; however, radically-innovative organizations are more prone than incrementally-innovative organizations to discontinue quality-management standards and thereby exhibit a tendency to withdraw from quality certification. We compile World Bank data surveying facilities based in 50 countries and 103 industrial sectors across the 2003 to 2017 period. Taking advantage of the data's panel properties yields a dataset composed of up to 1755 facility-level observations of recertification decisions for empirical analysis. Our empirical testing employs a probit estimation technique that accounts for the appropriate fixed effects and generates results that support our theoretical priors regarding decertification behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104647
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Decertification
  • Innovation
  • Quality management
  • Standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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