The role of culture as driver of quality management and performance: Infrastructure versus core quality practices

Michael Naor, Susan M. Goldstein, Kevin W Linderman, Roger G Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

229 Scopus citations


Increasingly, scholars and practitioners recognize the importance of understanding organizational culture when implementing operations management practices. This study investigates the relationships among organizational culture, infrastructure and core quality management practices, and manufacturing performance using two alternative models. Understanding these relationships is important because culture can provide insight into the context dependence of quality management practices and shed light on the mixed results of past studies concerning the link between quality management and performance. Analysis of manufacturing plants from six countries indicates that organizational culture has a stronger influence on infrastructure quality management practices than on core quality management practices, regardless of whether the plants are located in Eastern or Western countries. In addition, infrastructure quality management practices have a significant effect on manufacturing performance. These results contribute to the quality management literature by emphasizing the importance of accounting for culture when making decisions to implement quality management practices to achieve a performance advantage. Finally, we also contribute to the literature on the culture-performance linkage by finding support for a direct link between culture and manufacturing performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)671-702
Number of pages32
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • And structural equation modeling
  • Core and infrastructure quality
  • Culture
  • Manufacturing performance
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Regression analysis


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