International Organization for Standardization Definition

Cite this article as:"International Organization for Standardization Definition," in The Business Professor, updated March 19, 2019, last accessed August 7, 2020,


International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Definition

The International Organization for Standardization, also known as ISO  is a global unofficial organization. It consists of national standards entities; It devises a large number of standards and publishes them. These standards are basically the paper records that contain the features, characteristics, requirements or road map fit for the standards of business, proprietorship, and industry. This organization plays a crucial role in the transparency of time to time audits.

Coming Up

  1. ISO 14000
  2. ISO 14001
  3. ISO 9000

A Little More on What is International Organization for Standardization – ISO

If we break the abbreviation, ISO becomes the International Organisation for Standardisation.

There are 162 members of ISO. They all are national standards entities. It is situated in Geneva, a famous city in Switzerland. ISO looks a short form, but it is not an acronym. Its meaning has been derived from the old Greek “isos”, i.e. equivalent or equal.

It develops a large number of products, services, processes, and materials and then, allows their publication. There are ninety-seven fields of the catalog of the organization’s standards. The categories include technology, clothing, civil engineering, healthcare, metallurgy, railway engineering, aircraft, jewelry, paint, agriculture, and weapons.

“ISO 4217” is the most common currency codes. These standards are used in forex trading, such as EUR (Euro), MXN (Mexican currency Peso), JPY (Yen) and USD (dollar).

References for the International Organization for Standardization

Academic Research on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

  • Organizing international standardization: ISO and the IASC in quest of authority, Hallstrom, K. T. (2004). In this book, there is an investigation about the ways, ISO develops, makes negotiations and maintains the legitimacy and powers, so that the organisations, companies and states may be able to imply with the voluntary standards of their institution. It assesses the activities and structure of IASC (International According Standards Committee) and ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation). In ISO, the Technical Committee 176 has been studied. It maintains standards for quality management and quality assurance. Most of the companies implement ISO 9000 worldwide. IASC is responsible for maintaining global standards to increase demand for the best financial reporting. The standardisation entities analyse the documents and conduct interviews. The writer discusses the system, variable logic and internal efforts that depict how voluntary implementation plans generate adoption and keep up the technical standards in an effective manner.
  • Whose standard is it, anyway? How the tobacco industry determines the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards for tobacco and tobacco …, Bialous, S. A., & Yach, D. (2001). Tobacco control, 10(2), 96-104. The objective of this paper is to analyse how the tobacco industry develops international standards for its products and effect on ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation). The documents of the tobacco industry have been analysed publicly as settled by MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) and MTT (Minnesota Tobacco Trial). The search terms are Barclay, IDO, Compensation & Machine Smoking, CORESTA (Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco), (TND) Tar and Nicotine Deliveries, etc. So, the tobacco industry has a crucial role in providing scientific proof. It also suggests the international standards determined for tobacco products in many areas. It includes measuring nicotine yields and cigarette tar. We can conclude that the standards of tobacco products developed by ISO are not appropriate for making regulatory policies. We cannot make a health claim on the basis of ISO standards for tobacco products. The need arises to make international groups and tobacco control words of mouth involving with ISO activities, but without any delay and with the help of their organisations for national standardisation.
  • Global competition, institutions, and the diffusion of organizational practices: The international spread of ISO 9000 quality certificates, Guler, I., Guillén, M. F., & Macpherson, J. M. (2002). Administrative science quarterly, 47(2), 207-232. Panel information on quality certification of the ISO 9000 is used in eighty-five countries between 1993-1998. This is for a better understanding of the cross-national spread of institutional practice. The author follows Neo-Institutional theory to stress on the mimetic, coercive and normative impacts that come from the industry’s exposure in a country to a strong reference of critical resources, industry’s experiences situated in other countries and a common group of concerning technical information. To understand the procedural concepts of how industries of different countries affect the adoption rate of each other, the authors use social networks. Regression outcomes provide assistance to the predictions that the countries and foreign multinationals play an active role in powerful isomorphism and cohesive commercial relationships among states create strong and normative impact.
  • Risk management–principles and guidelines, ISO, I. (2009). International Organization for Standardization, Geneva, Switzerland. This paper throws light on the guidelines and rules of risk management keeping in view the ISO standards of Geneva, Switzerland.
  • International diffusion of ISO 14000 certification, Corbett, C. J., & Kirsch, D. A. (2001). Production and operations management, 10(3), 327-342. ISO 9000 contains quality management standards and the latest ISO 14000 ecological management standards have created conflict in several experts. Thought it is now a defacto requisite for several firms, its impacts are not properly considered. So, its implication has been questioned. This study explores the worldwide spread of ISO 14000. The authors interviewed practitioners globally to identify the factors that state differences in the certification counts of national ISO standards 14000. Then, they gathered quantitative information and with the help of regression analysis, they found that ISO 9000, ecological attitudes and exports were very important. This fact shows that there is a big overlap and despite ISO 14000 being an ecological standard, several factors are not naturally environmental. So, it should rather be studied from a wider perspective instead of merely an environmental viewpoint.
  • Monitoring of soil organisms: a set of standardized field methods proposed by ISO, Römbke, J., Sousa, J. P., Schouten, T., & Riepert, F. (2006). European Journal of Soil Biology, 42, S61-S64. There is a need for devising such techniques, which can be appropriate for the evaluation of the habitual act of soul (the soil acts being a natural atmosphere for organisms). So, ISO is developing a standard, especially in Europe, named as ‘soil quality sampling of soil invertebrates’. It comprises of 4 parts near to finalize, i.e. (i) ISO / DIS 23611-1 (formalin extract of earthworms and hand-sorting, (ii) ISO / DIS 23611-2 microarthropods extracts (Acarina and Collembola) (iii) ISO / CD 23611-3 enchytraeids extracts (iv) ISO / WD 23611-4 identification, sampling and extracts of free-living phases of overland nematodes. The technical explanation of the most suitable methods come under these types and modified methods in particular cases, e.g. climatic areas. This study is equally useful for data collection of soil organisms for long time monitoring/soil quality evaluation like legal objectives.


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