A Contingent View of Quality Management-The Impact of International Competition on Quality


  • Ajay Das is an assistant professor of operations management at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York. He received a PhD in production and Operations Management from Michigan State University. His research interests include quality management, Manufacturig flexibility, and supply cai management. His research has been published in Decision Sciences, Journal of Operations Management, international Journal of Production Research, Production and Inventory Management Journal, Management International Review, and the International Journal of Purchasing and Matrials Management, among other refereed journals.

  • Robert Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management in the College of Management at North Carolina State University. His research on supply Chain management and environmentally responsible manufacturing has resulted in over 40 published articles in journals such as Decision Sciences, Sloan Management Review. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, and Others. He has also co-authored several textbooks on supply chain management.

  • Roger C. Calantone is a Broad Professor of Marketing at Michigan State University. His research interests include new product development, Structural equation modeling, decision support systems and marketing relationships. He has published over 100 articles in refereed journals such as Management Science, Decision Sciences, IEEE Transactions on Engineerig Management, and Journal of Marketing.

  • Soumen Ghosh is an associate professor of operations management at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research interests include quality management and optimal control theory. He has published in journals such as Decision Sciences, IIE Transactions, Journal of Operations Management, and others.


Much of the research on quality practices and performance reflects a resource-based perspective of the firm, dealing primarily with internal issues of managerial and technological competence in developing and executing an effective TQM strategy. The neoclassical perspective on the influence of the competitive environment on quality practices and performance remains conspicuously absent in the empirical quality literature. Our study aims to address this gap by examining the contingent role of international competition on quality management and performance.

We develop and test an integrative framework of quality management, consisting of high involvement work practices, quality practices, quality performance, and firm performance. We then examine the contingent effects of international competition on the constructs and relationships of the framework. International competition was found to moderate the relationship between quality practices and customer satisfaction performance, as well as the relationship between high involvement work practices and firm performance. The moderator effects suggest interesting implications for quality theory and practice.