The effect of quality management on mass customization capability

Mehmet Murat Kristal, Xiaowen Huang, Roger G. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of quality management (QM) in the development of mass customization (MC) capability. QM is modeled as a second-order construct reflected by six QM practices (small group problem solving, top management leadership for quality, information and feedback, process management, customer focus, and supplier involvement). The paper proposes that these six practices reflect the core principles of QM, and in turn QM contributes to the development of MC capability. Design/methodology/approach: Using the survey data collected from 167 manufacturing plants in three industries and eight countries, structural equation modeling was employed to test the hypotheses. Findings: The results provide empirical evidence supporting the proposed relationships between QM and MC capability. Research limitations/implications: The dataset for this paper is cross-sectional. Future studies should consider a longitudinal setting that would provide a deeper understanding of causal relationships. Second, an existing database was used, thereby limiting the choices of variables analyzed. Practical implications: The findings of empirical support for the positive impact of QM practices on MC capability provide guidance for managers in the allocation of resources for QM efforts in their pursuit of MC capability. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to shed light on the effects of QM on MC capability. The paper presents an explanation on how QM helps to develop MC capability and also finds empirical evidence supporting such a relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-922
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010


  • Mass customization
  • Quality management


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