The aim of this paper is to present the results of a survey administered across 23 countries that examines quality priorities, practices and performance by adopting Hofstede's national cultural framework. The purpose of this study is to test the validity of the “culture‐specific” argument as an explanatory construct for explaining quality management.
Data were collected in 2006 as part of the IV iteration of the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey. The methodology involved the use of a self‐administered questionnaire to director/head of operations/manufacturing in best practice firms within the sector of firms classified by ISIC codes (rev.3.1) Divisions 28‐35.
From the findings it emerges that whereas differences in priorities can be affected by masculinity and uncertainty avoidance to a very small degree, all the four dimensions of culture significantly affect quality practice and three of the four dimensions affect performance to a greater extent.
The paper contributes to the validation of the “culture‐specific” hypothesis in relation to quality management by addressing its managerial implications. In particular it calls for a fuller appreciation of cultural dimensions which will in turn help firms to better align their quality practices towards the attainment of improved quality performance.
Whereas the traditional literature on quality practices in its attempt to explain existing differences across countries addresses the issue of convergence or divergence of quality practices across countries, this paper analyses similarities and differences by comparing quality priorities, practices and performance across Hofstede's four cultural dimensions. The paper also proposes an original interpretative framework where variations in both quality practices and performance can be explained by some identifiable mechanisms either of “better fit” or “compensation”.
Vecchi, A. and Brennan, L. (2009), "Quality management: a cross‐cultural perspective", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 149-164. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527600910953900Download as .RIS
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