The Focus of Quality Management Practices: A National Culture Perspective

Dongli Zhang, Sarah Jinhui Wu


The effectiveness of quality management practices under different national culture environments is investigatedin this study. We bundle quality management practices by two orientations based on learning theoryand theninvestigate if any type of quality management practices shows stronger relationship with performance withindifferent national culture environments. The hypotheses were tested using a survey dataset witha sample size of238 which were collected from eight countries. Data analysis results show that exploitative quality practices arehighly related to performance outcome in national cultures featured by high power distance and high uncertaintyavoidance. In contrast, exploratory quality practices are significantly associated with operations performance innations with low power distance and low uncertainty avoidance. The study suggests that quality managementpractices be adopted selectively based on the national culture profile. It advances our understanding of qualitymanagement practices from the context dependent perspective and provides guidelines for practitionersonimplementing quality practices successfully in different cultural environments.

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