Academic journal article International Journal of Management

A Comparative Study of Quality Management Practices in Hong Kong and Shanghai Manufacturing Industries

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

A Comparative Study of Quality Management Practices in Hong Kong and Shanghai Manufacturing Industries

Article excerpt

This paper reports the comparative study on quality management practices in Hong Kong and manufacturing industries. The findings include: 1) Quality management practices lead to improvement in business results in both places. 2) Comparatively, Shanghai companies pay more attention to environmental impact while Hong Kong counterparts pay more attention to market and customer feedback. 3) ISO 9000 certification is more or less the same in the two places. 4) It seems that ISO 9000 certification does not have significant relationship with the improvement of business results, although this does not mean that it does not maintain existing quality level. 4) ISO 9000 certification does not have significant relationship with other quality practices, neither The result from this research will help managers in the two places to understand each other well and will be useful for join ventures in the two places.

1. Introduction

Since implementing the open door and economic reform policies in 1978, China has experienced rapid development and has been transforming from a planned economy towards a socialist market economy. Shanghai, the largest city in Mainland China, has started to regain its fame as a promising international center of economy, finance and trade. Since the late eighties, the Chinese Government has determined a priority development strategy that makes Shanghai the focus of many new economic and industrial development activities in recent years. Hong Kong is renowned as one of the four Little Asian Dragons" and is far more advanced in economic development than the rest of China. According to the f5ne country with two systems " policy, Hong Kong 's capitalist and free trade system remains intact after its sovereignty was returned from Britain to China in 1997. Although Hong Kong and Shanghai operate on a quite different social system, they are both playing key roles in China's economic development. Hong Kong and Shanghai are regarded as the two engines of China 's modernization, with Hong Kong at the south and Shanghai at the east (Hua, 1996). Additionally, there has been huge amount of mutual investment and trade between the two places. Due to long time separation, quality management practices in the two places may not be the same. However, there are little comparative studies to investigate the differences and the implications (Liu, 1998). The findings presented in this paper will provide a sound basis for the exchange of ideas between Hong Kong and Shanghai manufacturers. It will allow them to exchange experiences regarding quality management, to improve quality management strategies and methodologies, and to overcome quality barriers.

2. Research questions

It has been widely agreed that there are two main streams of quality management, i.e., Total Quality management and ISO 9000 standard and certification (Chin et al, 1999). In this paper, we investigate the following 5 research questions which covers TQM, ISO 9000 certifications, business results as well as relationships among these variables:

Question 1 (Q1): Do Hong Kong and Shanghai Manufacturers implement quality management practices to the same extent?

Question 2 (Q2): Do Quality management practices contribute to business results in Hong Kong and Shanghai manufacturing companies?

Question 3 (Q3): Do Hong Kong and Shanghai Manufacturers get ISO 9000 certification to the same extent?

Question 4 (Q4): Do ISO 9000 registrations improve business results in Hong Kong and Shanghai manufacturing industries?

Question 5 (Q5): Do ISO 9000 certification and TQM implementation have any relationship?

3. Empirical data

This study is based on a survey. The questionnaire was designed by researchers from Toledo University (Rao et al 1997). The questionnaire covers the criteria as those in the US Quality Award model. The survey data were collected in two stages. In the first stage, data from Shanghai manufacturers were collected with the support of SQCA in late 1998. …

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