Analyzing the effectiveness of quality management practices in China
This study examines the effectiveness of different quality management practices in firms operating in China. Following March's framework, quality management practices are organized by two orientations—exploration vs. exploitation. We investigate whether exploitative-oriented quality practices are more effective than exploratory-oriented quality practices or vice versa in China. Data were collected from quality managers of companies located in seven areas in China. Structural equation models were used to assess the effectiveness of explorative quality practices and exploitative quality practices on multiple performance dimensions. Overall, exploratory-oriented practices contribute more towards most of performance goals than exploitative-oriented practices. We further explain the research findings from the national culture perspective in the sense that the current Chinese national culture profile is dramatically different from the traditional wisdom, particularly in power distance. The results provide an insightful guideline for quality managers to allocate scarce resources to make quality practices more effective in operations sites in China. It offers a new focus of launching quality management practices in a specific cultural environment.
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