Exploding the Myth: Do All Quality Management Practices Contribute to Superior Quality Performance?

ArticleinProduction and Operations Management 8(1):1 - 27 · January 1999with141 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.44 · DOI: 10.1111/j.1937-5956.1999.tb00058.x


    In his landmark article on total quality management, Powell (1995) lamented the lack of large scale studies investigating quality management practices and performance. This study begins to fill that void using a large, random sample of manufacturing sites. The results show that quality practices can be categorized into nine dimensions. However, not all of them contribute to superior quality outcomes. “Employee commitment,” “shared vision,” and “customer focus” combine to yield a positive correlation with quality outcomes. Conversely, other “hard” quality practices, such as “benchmarking,” “cellular work teams,” “advanced manufacturing technologies,” and “close supplier relations” do not contribute to superior quality outcomes.