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Exploring the role of organizational learning activities in the quality management context

Seok-young Oh (Department of Education, Yonsei University , Seoul, Korea)
K. Peter Kuchinke ( University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , Champaign, Illinois, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships between three quality management (QM) practices, leadership, people focus, and process management practices and organizational learning (OL) activities and business performance in Korean manufacturing businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on 204 responses to a survey of Korean manufacturing companies listed on the Korea Composite Stock Price Index to test nine hypotheses with structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

The results from SEM show that leadership practices have a significant effect on people focus and process management practices, and that the three QM practices jointly influence OL. However, leadership, people focus, and process management practices do not have direct associations with business performance, but rather show statistically influence only via OL activities. The findings verify that OL has a mediating role in QM practices and business performance as a crucial resource that determines a firm’s competitive advantage.

Originality/value

An important implication of this study’s findings for managers or QM professionals is that learning takes place at multiple levels and is a crucial resource that determines a firm’s competitive advantage, bridging quality and business outcomes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by 2014 Research Fund of Myongji University.

Citation

Oh, S.-y. and Kuchinke, K.P. (2017), "Exploring the role of organizational learning activities in the quality management context", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 380-397. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-11-2015-0259

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited