Several quality thought leaders have considered the role of knowledge in quality management practices. For example, Deming proposed The Deming System of Profound Knowledge™ that dealt explicitly with knowledge. However, various authors in the quality field diverge considerably when contemplating knowledge. We propose an integrated view of quality and knowledge using Nonaka's theory of knowledge creation. This integrated view helps illuminate how quality practices can lead to knowledge creation and retention. The knowledge perspective also provides insight into what it means to effectively deploy quality management practices. Previous empirical research noted the importance of effective deployment, but provided little insight into what effective deployment means. This research argues that quality management practices create knowledge, which leads to organizational performance. Taking a knowledge-based view (KBV) of the firm provides a deeper understanding of why some organizations are more successful at deploying quality management practices than others.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported in part by a National Science Foundation grant NSF/SES-0080318.
- Knowledge management
- Quality management