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Knowledge Driven Quality Improvement

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Author Info

  • Amit Shankar Mukherjee

    (125 Summer Street, Watertown, Massachusetts 02472)

  • Michael A. Lapré

    (Boston University, School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Massachusetts 02215)

  • Luk N. Van Wassenhove

    (INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, 77305 Fontainebleau Cedex, France)

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    Abstract

    Little is known about the processes that make TQM effective. Why are some quality improvement projects more effective than others? We argue that TQM processes affect the way people create new knowledge, which in turn determines organizational effectiveness. We explore this by studying 62 quality improvement projects undertaken in one factory over a decade. Using a factor analysis we identify three learning constructs that characterize the learning process: scope, conceptual learning, and operational learning. We use OLS regressions to study the impact of these learning constructs on project performance. Conceptual and operational learning are found to play a crucial role in achieving goals, creating new technological knowledge, and changing factory personnel's attention. Contrary to the common practice of relying on operational learning, we suggest the application of conceptual learning as well, particularly if the technology is poorly understood. It facilitates the codification of knowledge, which enhances its dissemination for both present and future use.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.44.11.S35
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 44 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 11-Part-2 (November)
    Pages: S35-S49

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:44:y:1998:i:11-part-2:p:s35-s49

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    Web page: http://www.informs.org/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Quality; Organizational Learning; Technological Knowledge; Learning by Experimentation;

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    Cited by:
    1. Taylor, W.A. & Wright, G.H., 2006. "The contribution of measurement and information infrastructure to TQM success," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 372-384, August.
    2. Arumugam, V. & Antony, Jiju & Kumar, Maneesh, 2013. "Linking learning and knowledge creation to project success in Six Sigma projects: An empirical investigation," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(1), pages 388-402.
    3. Maurizio Zollo & Jeffrey J. Reuer, 2001. "Experience Spillovers across Corporate Development Activities," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-35, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
    4. Koen H. Heimeriks & Geert Duysters, 2007. "Alliance Capability as a Mediator Between Experience and Alliance Performance: An Empirical Investigation into the Alliance Capability Development Process," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 25-49, 01.
    5. Heimeriks, K. & Duysters, G.M., 2004. "A study into the alliance capability development process," Working Papers 04.21, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
    6. Vits, Jeroen & Gelders, Ludo, 2002. "Performance improvement theory," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 285-298, June.
    7. Biskup, Dirk & Simons, Dirk, 2004. "Common due date scheduling with autonomous and induced learning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 159(3), pages 606-616, December.
    8. Tan, Kim Hua & Platts, Ken, 2004. "Operationalising strategy: Mapping manufacturing variables," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 379-393, June.
    9. Jha, Pradeep K. & Jha, Rakhi & Datt, Rajul & Guha, Sujoy K., 2011. "Entropy in good manufacturing system: Tool for quality assurance," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 211(3), pages 658-665, June.
    10. Wang, Weijia & Plante, Robert D. & Tang, Jen, 2013. "Minimum cost allocation of quality improvement targets under supplier process disruption," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 228(2), pages 388-396.
    11. Feten Hamama, 2012. "Systemes De Controle Et Processus De Gestion Des Connaissances, Une Illustration Dans Le Secteur De L'Equipement Automobile," Post-Print hal-00691176, HAL.

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