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Customization of quality practices the impact of quality culture

By: Sarah Jinhui Wu; Dongli Zhang; Roger G. Schroeder;

2011 / Emerald Publishing


Purpose This study aims to investigate how firms should customize quality practices to obtain or maintain quality advantage with the development of quality culture. The paper seeks to adopt Marchs learning framework and to differentiate quality management practices into two bundles exploitation and exploration. Designmethodologyapproach A survey dataset, including 238 manufacturing plants located in eight countries and three industries was used to test the hypotheses. The total sample was classified into two groups depending on the maturity of quality culture, and regression analysis was conducted in each of the groups for comparison. Findings Data analysis results show that quality exploitation practices are highly related to performance outcome when quality culture has not become a prevailing organization culture. In contrast, quality exploration practices are significantly associated with operations performance after quality culture plays a critical role in organizational culture. Research limitationsimplications The findings encourage future research on customization of quality management practices. Practical implications The findings suggest when it is more appropriate to adopt explorative oriented quality practices and when to adopt exploitativeoriented quality practices to make quality management programs more effective. Originalityvalue This paper advances the understanding of quality management practices from the contextdependent perspective. Particularly, the study suggests the selective adoption of certain quality management practices based on the evolvement of quality culture.