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Empirical Analysis of Quality Improvement in Manufacturing

K.E. Maani (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
M.S. Putterill (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
D.G. Sluti (University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

ISSN: 0265-671X

Article publication date: 1 October 1994


Despite a strong research output in quality in recent years, the literature is still scant in empirical studies of commonly held quality theories. Empirically investigates the operational and strategic impact of improved process quality and describes the construction of a model of process quality and its correlates in manufacturing. Using empirical data, the study performs a micro assessment of the impact of quality on operations performance. Implications for the business unit as a whole are also considered. Since the research domain of the study is manufacturing industry, the conformance dimension of quality has been adopted as a more precise and measurable definition than those followed in other research. Structural equation modelling (SEM) is used for analysing the magnitude and direction of hypothesized relationships, a rigorous and reliable way of testing multivariate data and path models. Research findings generally support the consensus view that there is a favourable impact of enhanced quality in the form of improvements in productivity, inprocess inventory, on‐time delivery, and manufacturing cost. Flow‐through effects on business performance were also noted though not in all dimensions. This research complements marketing‐oriented evaluation which has been a feature of approaches to date.



Maani, K.E., Putterill, M.S. and Sluti, D.G. (1994), "Empirical Analysis of Quality Improvement in Manufacturing", International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 11 No. 7, pp. 19-37.




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