An Empirical Investigation in Sustaining High-Quality Performance

Hung Chung Su, Kevin Linderman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Many organizations that were once quality leaders have had challenges sustaining high-quality performance. Although research has examined frameworks and concepts that lead to high-quality performance, few studies examine how to sustain high-quality performance. Sustaining performance may require additional capabilities from what it takes to achieve it. Drawing on quality management literature, organizational resilience literature, and the theory of dynamic capabilities in the strategy literature, this study empirically investigates the effects of four capabilities that help sustain high-quality performance. The analysis shows that capabilities in improvement, innovation, sensing weak signals, and responsiveness all help sustain high-quality performance. This suggests that what it takes to achieve high-quality performance is different, in part, from what it takes to sustain it. The data comes from a survey of 147 manufacturing business units. The analysis shows that the relative benefits of these capabilities may depend on the level of competitive intensity and environmental uncertainty. The findings provide empirical support for a theoretical model and practical guidance for sustaining quality performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-819
Number of pages33
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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