Integrated management systems and workflow-based electronic document management: An empirical study

Hang Thu Pho, Torben Tambo


Purpose: Many global organizations have aligned their strategy and operation via the ISO-based framework of integrated management system (IMS) that allows them to merge quality, environment, health and safety management systems. In such context, having a robust electronic document management system (EDMS) is essential, especially at global enterprises where a large amount of documents generated by processes flows through different work cultures. However, there is no "one-size-fits-all" design for EDMS because it depends on organizations' needs, size and resource allocation. This article discusses the interrelation between EDMS and IMS in order to suggest a best practice.

Design/methodology/approach: This article methodologically based upon a qualitative, interpretivistic, longitudinal empirical study in a wind turbine factory.

Findings and Originality/value: IMS improvement and effectiveness has been overlooking EDMS as a key factor in establishing appropriate technological support of the IMS processes. Rightful application of EDMS can further contribute to organizational learning, precision of documentation and cross-organisational collaboration.

Research limitations/implications: Theorising on IMS needs a stronger perspective of the technological limitations and potentials of basing IMS on EDMS.

Practical implications: IMS are complex systems involving a large number of administrative functions. EDMS provides a formal representation with automation potentials both heightening and securing document trustworthiness.

Social implications: IMS has a tendency to stay with professionals, e.g. line managers and QA/QC/QMS professionals. The EDMS line of discussion suggests a broader inclusion.

Originality/value: Researching IMS as a technological implementation is giving a better platform of aligning the IMS with other business processes and is bringing IMS closer to the operational activities within the enterprise.


Document Workflow; Electronic Document Management System; Process-Oriented; Integrated Management System

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Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience