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Quality management – a means to bridge cultural differences?
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Logistik- och kvalitetsutveckling. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
Linköpings universitet, Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling, Logistik- och kvalitetsutveckling. Linköpings universitet, Tekniska fakulteten.
Swerea IVF, Department of Product Realization, Mölndal, Sweden / Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Production Systems. Department of Product and Production Development, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2014 (Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of the paper is to explore how quality management (QM) principles can be used to mitigate cross-cultural challenges in new product introduction across national borders.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Data for this longitudinal case study were collected through semi-structured interviews in the planning phase, during and after a product introduction involving one Swedish and one Chinese company. In total, 35 interviews were conducted with employees and managers from several organizational functions in Sweden and China.

Findings – Several challenges in the collaboration project were revealed that affected the product realization process. The study showed that QM dimensions may be used to handle the cross-cultural challenges. Strategy and leadership are essential in terms of top management support to set a high priority for the cross-cultural collaboration projects. The study demonstrated that lack of understanding of cultural differences negatively affected the product realization process and product quality, and that these outcomes could be mitigated by a QM approach. The means that may be used include continuous improvements, the development of measurement systems and the use of checklists. Employee development and involvement, finally, is an important QM dimension for cross-cultural management in order to set the same understanding and standards throughout the whole project.

Practical implications – The results demonstrate the strong need to take a systematic approach to work on quality issues in cross-cultural collaboration contexts. Furthermore the study shows that specific attention needs to be paid to understanding cultural differences, as these may have significant impact on quality outcome. Knowledge about cultural characteristics should be integrated in the QM model and tools to mitigate cross-cultural challenges.

Originality/Value of paper – This paper proposes the possibility of using quality management as a means to mitigate cultural challenges in cross-cultural product introduction.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2014.
Nyckelord [en]
Cross-cultural, new product introduction, Sweden-China, QM
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekonomi och näringsliv Globaliseringsstudier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122734OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-122734DiVA, id: diva2:872428
Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-18 Skapad: 2015-11-18 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-01-10Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. Cross-Cultural Challenges in Product Realization Process
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Cross-Cultural Challenges in Product Realization Process
2015 (Engelska)Licentiatavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

With increased global competition, companies need to diversify their product realization process to gain advantages offered by different geographical areas. However, different cultural backgrounds of people and companies situated around the world can lead to challenges in crosscultural collaboration. Taking into account the whole product realization process, this thesis focuses on the three main areas of the product realization research field: product development, product introduction, and production ramp-up/serial production. The aim is to identify crosscultural challenges in the product realization process and contribute to knowledge on possible strategies facilitating a cross-cultural collaboration.

This thesis is based on a qualitative research approach. First, a systematic literature review was conducted to explore the research field and gain more understanding regarding challenges in cross-cultural human collaboration. Then, case study methodology was adopted to explore cross-cultural transfer of management concepts and possible strategies to facilitate crosscultural human collaboration.

Results reveal that cross-cultural challenges exist both directly, when people from different cultural backgrounds work together, and indirectly, when management concepts are transferred across cultural contexts. In the case of human collaboration, different cultures lead to crosscultural challenges such as misunderstanding, tensions at work, difficulties in communication and knowledge transfer as well as a mismatch in resource planning and control. Regarding transfer of management concepts, there is a cultural imprint in management concepts causing challenges when they are implemented in a different culture. However, this is a two-way adaptation in which both the organization and some principles of the management concepts can be adapted to better fit with each other during the implementation process.

The study also suggests that Quality Management is a possible strategy to mitigate crosscultural challenges in human collaboration. Quality Management may serve as a guideline to establish working procedures to facilitate collaboration and help employees overcome cultural boundaries.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. s. 62
Serie
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1736
Nationell ämneskategori
Ekonomi och näringsliv Globaliseringsstudier
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122735 (URN)978-91-7685-881-3 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-11-25, ACAS, Hus A, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (Engelska)
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-18 Skapad: 2015-11-18 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-01-10Bibliografiskt granskad

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