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Title: Impacts of quality management relations on sustainability performance
Authors: Al-Sawafi, Ahmed Mohammed Sultan
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study utilises the business relations theory as the theoretical lens to illustrate the links between quality management relations and the three dimensions of sustainability. The goal is to investigate the influences of the internal and external dimensional views of quality management (QM) relations in enhancing sustainability performance empirically. The internal quality management relations are associated with management and employees’ factors, while the external quality management relations are connected with customers’ and suppliers’ factors. Sustainability performance is measured through the social, environmental, and economic sustainability performance dimensions, which represent the triple bottom line (TBL). Additionally, this study examines the moderating impact of stakeholder pressure on the relationships between quality factors and sustainability dimensions. Also, the mediating effects of quality training, employee relations, supplier relations and customer relations were tested. Finally, this study examines group differences between the service and manufacturing sectors to enhance the generalisation of the survey findings. From this, a model is established to examine 24 hypothesised relationships. Questionnaires were used to collect data from top managers of 467 UK service and manufacturing firms. Statistical analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques were applied to test and analyse the data. The findings show that internal and external quality relations contribute to sustainability performance directly and indirectly, from management relations (MR) through employee relations (ER), customer relations (CR) and supplier relations (SR). Also, the results show that management relations (MR) supports other QM relations and is indirectly related to sustainability performance. The main effects were spread across the service and manufacturing sectors, and the results helped to identify the impact of different QM relations across different sustainability performance dimensions. The moderation results show mixed outcomes for QM relations and sustainability performance. This study is relevant for academics and practitioners as it focuses on significant QM management relations that are beneficial for the triple bottom line (TBL) of firms. This research contributes to the streams of business relations research by examining the internal and external quality aspects related to management, employees, customers, and suppliers to explain the mechanisms through which those internal and external aspects could contribute to the firms’ sustainability performance. As firms adopt internal and external QM relations to sustain their competitive advantage and achieve operational performance, their social, environmental, and economic sustainability performance dimensions improve. The importance of this research is that it investigates the influence of specific QM relations on the three dimensions of sustainability by providing robust and generalisable simultaneous examinations of these sustainability dimensions, primarily the social one. The social dimension has been paid less attention than the other sustainability dimensions and examining this aspect will provide further knowledge that has thus far been neglected in sustainability studies.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:Newcastle University Business School

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