An Empirical Investigation of the Universal Effectiveness of Quality Management Practices: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Document Type: Research Paper


1 College of Business, Jackson State University, Mississippi, USA

2 College of Business and Entrepreneurship, The University of Texas, USA

3 School of Business, Central Connecticut State University, USA


Institutional theory argues that the isomorphic nature of quality management (QM) practices leads to similar QM implementation and performance among QM-embedded firms. However, contingency theory questions such 'universal effectiveness of QM practices'. Considering these conflicting arguments, this study tests samples from the U.S. and China to examine whether the 'universal effectiveness of QM practices’ across national boundaries actually exists. First, the confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine the validity of the survey instruments developed in this study. Then, the hypotheses were tested using the structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis. The SEM test results indicated that the positive effect of behavioral QM on firm performance was more significant in the U.S. sample than in the China sample. The test results also presented that the relative effect of behavioral QM versus technical QM on firm performance was noticeably different in service firms, according to national economic maturity. The study’s findings demonstrated that a firm's contingency factors, such as national economic maturity and industry type, could result in the heterogeneous implementation of the firm’s TQM program; consequently, the findings weakened the 'universal effectiveness of QM practices'.


Main Subjects

Akgün, A. E., Ince, H., Imamoglu, S. Z., Keskin, H., and Kocoglu, İ. (2014). The mediator role of learning capability and business innovativeness between total quality management and financial performance. International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 52(3), pp. 888-901.

Sailaja, A., Basak, P. C., and Viswanadhan, K. G. (2015). Costs of quality: Exploratory analysis of hidden elements and prioritization using analytic hierarchy process. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, Vol. 1(4), pp. 489-506.

Bolton, M. (2004).Customer centric business processing. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 53(1), pp. 44-51.

Burns, T., and Stalker, G. M. (1961). The Management of Innovation. Tavistock: London.

Chen, S. H., & Chen, M. C. (2014). Improving employee satisfaction priority through performance control matrix. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, Vol. 1(3), pp. 314-327.

Child, J. (1972). Organizational structure, environment and performance: the role of strategic choice. Sociology, Vol. 6(1), pp. 1-22.

Cho, Y. S., and Jung, J. Y. (2014). The Relationship between Metacognition, Entrepreneurial Orientation, and Firm Performance: An Empirical Investigation. Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal, Vol. 20(2), pp. 71-84.

Dahlgaard, J. J., Kristensen, K., Kanji, G. K., Juhl, H. J., and Sohal, A. S. (1998). Quality management practices: a comparative study between east and west. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, Vol. 15, pp. 812–826.

Donaldson, L. (1987). Strategy and structural adjustment to regain fit and performance: in defence of contingency theory. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 24(1), pp. 1-24.

Dow, D., Samson, D., and Ford, S. (1999). Exploding the myth: do all quality management practices contribute to superior quality performance. Production and Operations Management, Vol. 8(1), pp. 1-27.

Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., and Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis. 7th ed. NJ: Prentice Hall.
Hendricks, K. B., and Singhal, V. R. (1997). Does implementing an effective TQM program actually improve operating performance? Empirical evidence from firms that have won quality awards. Management Science, Vol. 43(9), pp. 1258-1274.

Hendricks, K. B., & Singhal, V. R. (2001). Firm characteristics, total quality management, and financial performance. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 19(3), pp. 269-285. 

Jun, M., Cai, S., and Shin, H. (2006). TQM practice in maquiladora: Antecedents of employee satisfaction and loyalty. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 24, pp. 791-812.

Jung, J. Y., and Hong, S. (2008). Organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB), TQM and performance at the maquiladora. International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 25(8), pp. 793-808.

Kaviani, M. A., and Abbasi, M. (2014). Analyzing the operations strategies of manufacturing firms using a hybrid Grey DEA approach–A case of Fars Cement Companies in Iran. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, Vol. 1(3), pp. 371-391.

Kaynak, H. (1997). Total quality management and just-in-time purchasing: their effects on performance of firms operating in the U.S. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc.

Kaynak, H. (2003). The relationship between total quality management practices and their effects on firm performance. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 21(4), pp. 405-435.

Kaynak, H., and Hartley, J. L. (2008). A replication and extension of quality management into the supply chain. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 26(4), pp. 468-489.

Lawrence, P. R., and Lorsch, J. W. (1967). Differentiation and integration in complex organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 12 (1), pp. 1-47.

Meyer, J. W., and Rowan, B. (1977). Institutionalized organizations: formal structure as myth and ceremony. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 83, pp. 340-363.

Mitki, Y., and Shani, A. B. (1995). Cultural challenges in TQM implementation: some learning from the Israeli experience. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 12(2), pp. 161–170.

Powell, T. C. (1995). Total quality management as competitive advantage: a review and empirical study. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 16(1), pp. 15-37.

Rahman, S. U., and Bullock, P. (2005). Soft TQM, hard TQM, and organizational performance relationships: an empirical investigation. Omega, Vol. 33(1), pp. 73-83.

Rungtusanatham, M., Forza, C., Koka, B. R., Salvadora, F., and Nie, W. (2005). TQM across multiple countries: convergence hypothesis versus national specificity arguments. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 23(1), pp.  43–63.

Samson, D., and Terziovski, M. (1999). The relationship between total quality management practices and operational performance. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 17(4), pp. 393-409.

Selznick, P. (1957). Leadership in Administration. New York: Harper and Row.

Selznick, P. (1996). Institutionalism old and new. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 41(2). pp. 270-277.

Sheth, J. N., Sisodia, R. S., and Sharma, A. (2000). The antecedents and consequences of customer-centric marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Vol. 28(1), pp. 55-66.

Staw, B. M., and Epstein, L. D. (2000). What bandwagons bring: effects of popular management techniques on corporate performance, reputation, and CEO pay. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 45(3), pp. 523–556.

St. John, C. H., Cannon, A. R., and Pouder, R. W. (2001). Change drivers in the new millennium: implications for manufacturing strategy research. Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 19(2), pp. 143–160.

Suchman, M. C. (1995). Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches. Academy of Management Review, Vol. 20(3), pp. 571-610.

Westphal, J. D., Gulati, R., and Shortell, S. M. (1997). Customization or conformity? An institutional and network perspective on the content and consequences of TQM adoption. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 42(2), pp. 366–394.

Wibowo, C., and Ng, K. M. (2002). Product-centered processing: Manufacture of chemical-based consumer products. AIChE Journal, Vol. 48(6), pp. 1212–1230.

Yavas, B. F. (1995). A comparison on the quality perceptions of US and Asian firms in the electronics industry. Management International Review, Vol. 35(2), pp. 171–188.

Zavvar Sabegh, M. H., OzturkOglu, Y., and Kim, T. (2016). Green Supply Chain Management Practices’ Effect on the Performance of Turkish Business Relationships. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, Vol. 2(4), pp. 982-1002.

Zu, X. (2009). Infrastructure and core quality management practices: how do they affect quality? International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, Vol. 26(2), pp. 129-149.