Mapping the critical links between organizational culture and TQM/Six Sigma practices
This study investigates how organizational culture influences the implementation of different practices incorporated in the recent Six Sigma approach as well as those associated with traditional total quality management (TQM). We employed the competing values framework to capture the underlying value orientations of organizational culture. Using survey data collected from 226 US manufacturing plants, the relationships between four culture types and 10 TQM/Six Sigma practices were examined via the structural equation modeling technique. The results reveal the differential effects of the culture types on the implementation of TQM/Six Sigma practices. The implications of the links between different cultures and different TQM/Six Sigma practices are discussed. While the relationship between TQM practices and culture has been the subject of prior research, this is the first look at the relationship between organizational culture and a comprehensive set of quality management practices including the new Six Sigma practices. The understanding of the advantage of each culture type should help managers achieve effective implementation of TQM/Six Sigma practices from a holistic perspective of both quality management and culture.
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