The study examines the differential effects in context on how human resources and their activities are strategically managed for achieving total quality management.
Abhishek Behl, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Suchitra Ajgaonkar, Doctoral Research Scholar (Ph.D.), Symbiosis International University, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Netra Neelam, Professor and Deputy Director, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development, Symbiosis International University, Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Le Trung Dao, University of Finance ‐ Marketing, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Le Dang Lang, Thu Dau Mot University, Thu Dau Mot, Vietnam.
This research examines the effects of the context on the relationship between work design, learning mechanism and total quality management (TQM). The exploratory study examines the differential effects in context on how human resources and their activities are strategically managed for achieving TQM. Two theoretical frameworks “activity theory and contextual learning theory” are concurrently used for analysis.
Specifically, the manufacturing companies, the authors examine are (1) technology-intensive company which has bought technology from a global foreign establishment (MU1), (2) technology-intensive companies having their own technology (MU2) and (3) labor-intensive units (MU3) of varying organizational sizes. This case study-based research consists of 27 in-depth interviews with managers and employees of different hierarchies in each manufacturing unit.
The authors interviewed them using semi-structured questions that were pre-validated by five senior HR experts from the manufacturing industry. Document analysis, multiple site visits and website content helped triangulation. The data are coded and analyzed using Dedoose software for qualitative research. Activity diagrams for each manufacturing unit provides task and interaction analysis.
Within and cross-case analysis address complexity and challenges of contextual reality, influences on work design and learning mechanism. HRD executives must recognize that there may be well-differentiated learning behaviors that align with organizational strategy. The learning behaviors may not be well-differentiated and become very dynamic. This dynamism may be characterized by double loop and single-loop learning feeding into each other. This study provides substantial practical implications for HRD and other managers in the manufacturing sector.
Published in: The TQM Journal
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