Management system standards, also called meta-standards, have been adopted by an increasing number of organizations across the world. Although these management system standards are based on the same type of management principles and institutional arrangements, the literature remains scattered, with diverse studies focused on specific standards and published in various journals. The main objective of this paper is to analyse the academic research on meta-standards through an integrative review intended to shed light on the main conclusions and substantial advances made in this area. This integrative review focuses more specifically on the two main meta-standards which have been adopted by more than 1.3 million organizations worldwide: ISO 14001 and ISO 9001. The paper contributes insights into the main streams of the literature and current knowledge gaps to be addressed in future research on the various issues related to meta-standards: global governance, diffusion processes, motivations, benefits of adoption and impacts on performance, internalization, integration, consultancy and auditing.
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