Quality Management in Museum Information Systems: A Case Study of ISO 9001-2000 as an Evaluative Technique
Description: Museums are service-oriented information systems that provide access to information bearing materials contained in the museum's collections. Within museum environments, the primary vehicle for quality assurance and public accountability is the accreditation process of the American Association of Museums (AAM). Norbert Wiener founded the field of cybernetics, employing concepts of information feedback as a mechanism for system modification and control. W. Edwards Deming applied Wiener's principles to management theory, initiating the wave of change in manufacturing industries from production-driven to quality-driven systems. Today, the principles are embodied in the ISO 9000 International Standards for quality management systems (QMS), a globally-recognized set of standards, widely employed as a vehicle of quality management in manufacturing and service industries. The International Organization for Standardization defined a process for QMS registration against ISO 9001 that is similar in purpose to accreditation. This study's goals were to determine the degree of correspondence between elements of ISO 9001 and quality-related activities within museum environments, and to ascertain the relevance of ISO 9001-2000 as a technique of museum evaluation, parallel to accreditation. A content analysis compared museum activities to requirements specified in the ISO 9001-2000 International Standard. The study examined museum environment surrogates which consisted of (a) web sites of nine museum studies programs in the United States and (b) web sites of two museum professional associations, the AAM and the International Council of Museums (ICOM). Data items consisted of terms and phrases from the web sites and the associated context of each item. Affinity grouping of the data produced high degrees of correspondence to the categories and functional subcategories of ISO 9001. Many quality-related activities were found at the operational levels of museum environments, although not integrated as a QMS. If activities were unified as a QMS, the ISO 9001 Standard has potential for application as ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Karr, Fred H.
Partner: UNT Libraries