PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact that crisis had on quality management and basic business processes using INSEAD’s industrial excellence framework (IEF) towards large Greek industrial units. This study proposes a modified version of the IEF which can help firms to operate through a turbulent environment.Design/methodology/approachData that were collected during the current financial crisis were compared with a matched sample of business units surveyed a decade earlier. The variables that were used to measure performance were grouped into two categories, quality management and process improvement.FindingsThrough the examination of these cases, the authors identify the characteristics that empowered those BUs so as to remain alive during the turbulence. According to the results, the survivors train their staff systematically, have closer relationships with their suppliers, assess their processes and follow up with action plans. Findings also suggest cultural differences between survivors vs non-survivors. Survivors display a cultural profile typical to adhocracy since they describe themselves as more flexible and externally focused instead of being stable and internally focused. These findings are discussed and avenues for future research are presented.Practical implicationsThe results of the study can be applied by quality managers of industrial organizations to achieve higher performance and overcome a turbulence of the external environment.Originality/valuePrevious research on the business excellence frameworks neglects the essential issue of sustainability and how an organization can survive a crisis. The study provides new insights into the long-term benefits of applying an excellence framework.
International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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