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Emirate of Sharjah’s Organizational Management Standards Report

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Updated: Mar 27th, 2021

Literature Review

Introduction

Different authors have studied issues related to ISO standards, including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. The implementation of these policies, together with their merits and demerits under various social and organizational settings, is addressed by several scholars. The Sharjah Emirate has adopted ISO 14001. The implementation of this standard is in line with the UAE government’s initiative to improve its business and social organizations.

The current literature review seeks to determine various elements related to this standardization. Some of the benefits that Sharjah can derive from this standard are highlighted.

ISO 14001:2004 in Sharjah

According to the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2009), ISO 14001:2004 is a global standard providing organizations with specific sets of requirements. The specifications relate to environmental management systems. The framework enables firms to develop and implement an Environmental Management Program [EMP] (Delmas & Montes-Sancho, 2011). The program is ‘fully-compliant’ and helps firms to develop environmental policies and objectives needed to meet EMP commitments (Delmas & Montes-Sancho, 2011). Consequently, performance and organizational conformity are enhanced.

In the quest for continuous improvement, the authorities launched the Sharjah Economical Excellence Model in 2003. The policy is based on values and summations of international experiences, especially those focusing on Total Quality Management [TQM] (Abbott & Snidal, 2001). It addresses the need for ISO 14001 in Sharjah since its objectives reflect those promoted by the standard. According to Manetti and Becatti (2009), TQM supports the continuous development and enhances competitiveness. Consequently, TQM and ISO 14001 support the conditions needed for ‘permanent quality’ in Sharjah (Manetti & Becatti, 2009). The conditions are met through adherence to guidelines and standards that enable testing the effectiveness of systems already in use.

According to Vastag and Melnyk (2002), there are numerous factors behind the implementation of ISO 14001, especially in Sharjah. They include the ability of this standard to establish environmental policies suitable for the effective operation of an entity. Also, it enables organizations to adapt to the changing business environment (Vastag & Melnyk, 2002). However, Heras-Saizarbitoria and Boiral (2013) argue that the implementation of ISO 14001 is a very costly affair. It is also characterized by several uncertainties. Consequently, organizations must have strong reasons to justify the process.

Adhikari (2011) argues that institutions utilizing ISO standards are more efficient compared to those that do not. Also, the implementation of ISO 14001 provides a management system standard for the whole organization. According to Boiral and Gendron (2011), current institutional administration encompasses a wide range of activities. For instance, quality management is guided by ISO 9001, while social corporate responsibility is anchored on SA 8000 (Abbott & Snidal, 2001). On their part, environmental management and prevention of occupational hazards fall under ISO 14001, whereas health and safety regulations in the workplace are catered for under OHSAS 18000.

ISO 14001 does not entail any environmental goals or targets. On the contrary, the standard comes up with operational systems for compliance (Abbott & Snidal, 2001). In return, compliance determines the impacts of business operations on the environment, as well as future performance.

According to the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (2009), the Emirate is looking forward to becoming a competitive business hub globally. The expectations are in line with the objectives of the UAE government. Some of the organizations that are actively implementing ISO 14001 in Sharjah include the National Paints Factories Co. Ltd. The company acknowledges the various benefits associated with this standard. For instance, the framework has enhanced the firm’s environmental and social responsibility frameworks (Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2009).

Conclusion

The need for international management standards is growing globally. The growing public awareness about the importance of environmental protection has increased pressure on governments and businesses to take action. ISO 14001 offers agents an opportunity to reduce their environmental footprint and promote sustainable development.

Methodology

Methods: Interviews and Questionnaires

Overview

Research methodology entails the techniques and procedures used to obtain and analyze data for a given study. They include interviews, questionnaires, observation, as well as statistical and non-statistical techniques. The methods used to collect data for the current study include interviews and questionnaires.

Interviews

Generally, interviews are two-person conversations. They are initiated by the interviewer with the specific purpose of obtaining information that is relevant to the research (Akbayrak, 2000). The questions posed to the interviewee are based on research objectives. They are formulated through systematic description, explanation, or prediction. In the current study, interviews will be used for several purposes. One of them is to get reliable and valid information from the respondents.

Objectives of the interview

The interview will seek to accomplish the following objectives:

  1. Determine the level of understanding among institutional leaders, such as managers and government officials, with regards to ISO 14001.
  2. Analyze the opinions and attitudes of the institutional leaders about the implementation of ISO 14001 in Sharjah.
  3. Examine whether institutional leaders support or oppose the implementation of ISO 14001 in Sharjah. Also, the interview will seek to determine how the leaders view the standard in the context of TQM.
Interviewee

The interviewee for the study is Salim Al Sayegh, the Managing Director and Partner of National Paints Factories, Co. Sharjah. The company is one of the largest and leading paint manufacturing and industrial marketing enterprises in the Gulf region (Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2009). It is ISO-9001:2000 certified. Recently, the entity was awarded ISO 14001:2004-Environmental Management Systems Certificate. The certification followed a thorough inspection of various environmental facilities, equipment, and processes. The inspections were carried out by multi-sectoral auditors.

Consequently, the Managing Director of this firm is an ideal candidate for the interview. The official had worked for the company for several years before it was granted the two ISO certifications. As such, he can reveal the factors behind the organization’s adoption of the standards, as well as any improvements resulting from the undertaking.

Interview Questions

Central Research Question Why has your organization sought to embrace ISO standards, especially ISO 14001?
Sub-questions
Category of question Question Rationale: Explain the purpose of the question, linking it with the objectives and literature review (Appendix A)
Introductory question Describe your organization. The question helps to establish how ISO 14001 would affect organizational operations.
Topic question 1 Did ISO standards, particularly ISO 14001, influence TQM in your organization? The question helps to establish the relationship between TQM and ISO 14001 standards.
Topic question 2 What are some of the ways through which ISO 14001 has influenced the performance of your organization? The question helps to establish the impact of ISO 14001 on organizations.
Topic Question 3 What are your views towards the implementation of ISO 14001 in Sharjah? Question establishes management’s viewpoint on the implementation of standards.
Topic Question 4 What are some of the difficulties faced by the organization while implementing ISO 14001? The question determines the actual difficulties and uncertainties in the implementation of ISO 14001.

Questionnaire

Questionnaires are used to elicit the feelings, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions of individuals about a given subject. A basic questionnaire consists of a list of questions for which answers are sought (De-Rada, 2005).

Objectives of the Questionnaire

The questions will seek to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Determine whether or not the sampled institutions have implemented ISO 14001 in their operations.
  2. Analyze whether institutions utilizing ISO 14001 do so voluntarily or are forced to comply with the requirements stipulated by the regime.
  3. Assess how the ISO 14001 standard affects the performance of organizations.
  4. Evaluate how ISO 14001 contributes to organizational sustainable development.
  5. To find whether or not organizations could implement ISO 14001 standard when allowed to choose.

Questionnaire Questions

Central Research Question Is the organization ISO 14001 certified or not?
Sub-questions
Introductory question Is the organization generally ISO compliant? The question would determine the level of compliance with ISO standards among entities.
Topic question 1 Would the organization advocate for mandatory implementation of ISO 14001 in all institutions? Question establishes the general feelings towards a specific ISO 14001 standard.
Topic question 2 Are there better alternative standards to ISO 14001? The question determines whether organizations would be open to alternative standards to ISO 14001 or not.
Topic question 3 Are the challenges associated with the implementation of ISO 14001 genuine? The question evaluates the genuineness of uncertainties associated with the adoption of ISO 14001.
Topic question 4 Is ISO 14001 standard useful or relevant to organizations? The question seeks to determine the attitudes held by the management towards the standard.

Pilot Testing

Pilot testing for the questionnaire was performed on Mr. XXX. The teacher recommended that the questions should be short, precise, and definite. The adjustments were carried out appropriately.

References

Abbott, K., & Snidal, D. (2001). International standards and international governance. Journal of European Public Policy, 8(1), 345-370.

Adhikari, B. (2011). Integration of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001: A study of common elements. Menomonie, NY: University of Wisconsin.

Akbayrak, B. (2000). A comparison of two data collecting methods: Interviews and questionnaires. Journal of Education, 18(1), 1-10.

Boiral, B., & Gendron, Y. (2011). Sustainable development and certification practices: Lessons learned and prospects. Business Strategy and the Environment, 20(1), 331-347.

Delmas, M., & Montes-Sancho, M. (2011). An institutional perspective on the diffusion of international management system standards: The case of the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(1), 103-132.

De-Rada, V. (2005). Influences of questionnaire design on response to mail surveys. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 8(1), 61-78.

Heras-Saizarbitoria, I., & Boiral, O. (2013). ISO 9001 and ISO 14001: Towards a research agenda on management system standards. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(1), 47-65.

Manetti, G., & Becatti, L. (2009). Assurance services for sustainability reports: Standards and empirical evidence. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(1), 289-298.

Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry. (2009). Intensifying economic relations between countries. Al Tijarah, 38(6), 1-36.

Vastag, G., & Melnyk, S. (2002). Certifying environmental management systems by the ISO 14001 standards. International Journal of Production Research, 40(18), 4743-4763.

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