Recently, the integration of management systems has become an increasingly important mechanism adopted by organisations, as it represents an alternative to operating with multiple parallel management systems. Building on existing research, the objective of the paper is to scrutinise and empirically characterise the integration levels of integrated management systems adopted by businesses. We also show the usefulness of our taxonomic proposal for managers by exploring the relationship between the integration level achieved and subsequent corporate benefits. For the empirical application we use a unique dataset of Spanish certified firms (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001). On a worldwide scale, Spanish firms report high rates of adoption of management systems, which further increases the attractiveness for analysing this context. The results corroborate the existence of three levels of integration. Furthermore, the findings confirm that higher levels of integration lead to superior internal benefits related to organisational and operational areas. The conclusions of the study give support to the argument that organisations aiming at integrating their management systems should take into consideration their strategic orientation in order to decide the right level of integration according to the benefits being sought. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In this paper we examine the connection between the adoption of the OHSAS 18001 standard and performance from a comprehensive perspective. We first examine the adoption of the OHSAS 18001 as a function of objective safety metrics related to work accidents. Second, we evaluate the effect of this safety standard on safety performance and labour productivity, paying special attention to the returns to certified safety experience. For the empirical application we use a unique dataset of 149 Spanish firms for the period 2006–2009. The results reveal that objective safety variables explain the probability to adopt the OHSAS 18001; and that performance improvements follow the adoption of this safety system. In addition, the empirical findings tend to give ammunition to the argument that safety systems are worthwhile investments with strategic implications, as the experience on safety management may become a critical tool that can significantly improve safety and operating performance.