تجزیه و تحلیل اثربخشی شیوه های مدیریت کیفیت در چین
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|4484||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7740 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Available online 27 February 2013
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.
Quality management (QM) practices have long been argued as being conceptually interdependent (Anderson et al., 1998 and Flynn et al., 1994), yet empirical studies showed that the effects of some practices are significant while those of others are minimal (Dow et al., 1999, Foster, 2006, Powell, 1995 and Sousa and Voss, 2008). Though this should not be interpreted as meaning one set of practices should be chosen over another, it in fact, may suggest that some QM practices are more effective than others under certain conditions and there exists a strategic focus in QM implementation. Recent studies (Flynn and Saladin, 2006, Kull and Wacker, 2010, Metters, 2010 and Naor et al., 2010) have drawn attention to national culture as a factor to influence QM effectiveness and to explain performance disparity. National culture is developed as a result of shared experiences of inhabitants of a nation, including educational, governmental and legal systems, family structure, religious patterns, literature, architecture, and scientific theories (Hofstede, 1994a and Hofstede, 1994b). Scholars argued that many QM implementations have failed because of the ignorance of culture factors (Flynn and Saladin, 2006, Kull and Wacker, 2010 and Zhao et al., 2007). Motivated by the potential influence from national culture perspective, we take the approach recommended by Metters (2010) by looking deeply into a specific culture to explore whether certain QM practices are more or less effective. China caught our attention for three reasons. First, China has long been viewed of having a different cultural environment as compared to the Western countries where most quality management studies have been conducted (Metters, 2010). Second, the magnitude and rapidity of change in China's economic development is historically unprecedented and such economic development might have shaped the Chinese culture in one way or another. Yet, none of the literature provided an updated view of Chinese culture and the inferences based on the old cultural profile may be irrelevant or even misleading. Thus, studying this specific environment will provide more insights into how to effectively implement QM from a cultural perspective. Finally, as more and more foreign companies seek supply chain partners and locate their production sites in China, it is crucial to understand the Chinese culture and the corresponding implications to quality management practices to ensure a company to achieve its performance objectives. The purpose of this study is to explore which type of quality management practices contribute more towards the desired operational performance goals for firms operating in China. In order to achieve the maximum benefit of quality practices, companies need to understand the different purposes of QM practices. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to QM may not lead to optimal outcomes; and thus different companies may need different approaches to manage their quality programs. Given that quality management is essentially a continuous improvement program with learning as its core, March's (1991) framework provides a useful lens to distinguish quality management practices into exploitative-oriented and explorative-oriented practices. Management scholars (Eisenhardt and Tabrizi, 1995 and Sutcliffe et al., 2000) have theoretically argued that quality management practices also have these two fundamental orientations. On the one hand, organizations need exploitative-oriented QM practices that aim to control the known processes to ensure the consistency and efficiency of the outcomes. On the other hand, organizations need explorative-oriented QM practices that aim to explore the unknown and to identify and pursue novel solutions. Companies typically implement a bundle of explorative and exploitative QM practices. While they can benefit from QM practices with both orientations, they may emphasize one over the other (Sutcliffe et al., 2000), which indicates the effectiveness of QM practices could be different. For instance, the effectiveness could be affected by a specific cultural setting. In a culture with low power distance, employees may feel more comfortable to come up with creative ideas and suggestions. Consequently, explorative-oriented practices may be more effective. While in a culture with high power distance, most employees tend to obey orders and focus on improving efficiency of the outcomes. Accordingly, exploitative-oriented practices may work better. Therefore, QM practices with different orientations could generate different performance effectiveness in different culture settings. In this study, we find that explorative-oriented quality management practices contribute more towards most of the desired performance goals in firms operating in China. The seemingly counter-intuitive results are discussed from the perspective of adaptation of Chinese national culture. Post-hoc analysis on assessing Chinese national culture is conducted using Hofstede's (1980) seminal national culture framework; and the results indicate that China indeed experienced changes in some critical cultural dimensions. The results, in turn, provide evidence that culture could be a critical factor that influences the implementation of QM practices in different countries. As such, it enriches the literature of quality management from a cultural perspective. The findings are practically important to companies who use China as their production base or whose primary suppliers come from that area since our results offer them a strategic focus of improving performance through the implementation of different quality management practices.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Organizations are increasingly adopting improvement initiatives as a means to achieve competitive advantages. Quality management, one of the most important improvement initiatives, was introduced into China decades ago. However, quality issues are still among the top concerns for made-in-China products. With the Chinese economy playing a more and more important role in the world economy, quality problems have become a concern not only to Chinese manufacturers, but also to those Western companies that utilize a global supply chain and manufacturing capabilities from countries like China. This study explores the effectiveness of quality management practices in firms operating in China. Instead of looking at the appropriateness of quality management as a whole, it studies the quality practices with different orientations and clearly demonstrates that explorative-oriented QM practices contribute more towards most of the desired performance goals. Metters, (2010) suggested scholars to look deeply into a specific culture to determine why certain practices may or may not be effective. This study echoes their call and provides discussions and explanations of QM effectiveness from a Chinese national culture perspective. Besides the contribution to the quality and culture literature, the results are also critical to practitioners. The management team of an organization needs to understand the dynamics of national culture and focus on the right group of quality management practices that are more effective under that culture. For any organization, resources are limited or even scarce. Consequently, allocating resources to the right practices at the right time becomes critical to success. This study evaluates the effectiveness of different quality management practices in China and suggests the set of quality practices that could contribute more to the desired performance goals. The conclusion will benefit quality managers working in China or those working with their Chinese partners who want to develop a competitive advantage through quality improvement. It is important to evaluate this study's results and contributions in light of its limitations. First, the study relies on sole respondents and the responses were primarily perceptual in nature. Though this is common in a survey study, such responses can be affected by perceptual biases (Starbuck and Mezias, 1996). The accuracy of the responses could be improved if the measures of predictors and criterion variables could be obtained from different sources. Second, the cross-sectional data used in assessing the effectiveness of quality management practices could not weed out many potential factors that constantly influence the performance outcomes. A more accurate estimate could only be done through longitudinal data. Third, this is an exploratory study on the effectiveness of quality management practices for firms operating in China. The goal of this study is to provide some descriptive results and observe whether patterns exist so that hypothesis could be formulated for future studies to test. Though we had a post-hoc analysis and found that China indeed experienced dramatic changes in many culture dimensions, we would not be able to conclude quality management practices with what orientation are more effective upfront. National culture is only one possible explanation of our finding, and we should be open to other perspectives. Fourth, operations performance dimensions are modeled as single-item constructs in the structural equation model, which enables the model to converge and provide reliable results in this dataset. A better performance measurement model is suggested to verify the validity of the results. Finally, Hofstede pointed out that national culture dimensions data could not be used at the organizational level, and the unit of analysis in this study was at the firm level. The fact that the data came from one country limits our ability of assessing the influence of each cultural dimension on the effectiveness of quality management practices and provides more detailed insights on the choice of more beneficial practices. Nevertheless, collecting or using multi-country data is definitely a promising direction to enhance our understanding of quality management implementation from national culture perspective.