Assessing the Effectiveness of Quality Management in a Global Context - D. Power, T. Schoenherr, and D. Samson
Abstract: Manufacturers are faced with growing obstacles to quality coordination and assurance, as illustrated by the recent quality failures for toy cars and pet food. The objective of this paper is to contribute insight into these obstacles based on the theoretical domain of competitive capability progression (CCP), as well as the related concept of performance frontiers. Four hypotheses are developed and tested with data collected in a worldwide survey of manufacturing plants. In order to provide a relevant context for both CCP and the theory of performance frontiers we focus on two sets of countries: more recently industrialized economies in Asia (China, Taiwan, South Korea), and long-standing industrialized economies in Western Europe (Germany, Finland, Italy, Sweden). We analyze the effectiveness of quality management in these two groups in terms of their impact on perceived and actual quality performance, and offer explanations for the difficulties that exist in global quality management. Our findings stress the importance of having a common understanding of what defines good quality across plants globally. Contributions to both theory and practice are highlighted.
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