Quality management and cooperative values: Investigation of multilevel influences on workgroup performance

Thomas Kull, Ram Narasimhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Unsuccessful quality initiatives often are attributed to an organizational culture that does not recognize the importance of the cooperative values that underlie " soft" quality management practices, like customer focus and empowerment. Yet, the literature remains unclear as to how quality management and cooperative values interrelate by failing to incorporate the multilevel influences on this relationship in organizations. This research analyzes a multilevel model based on sociotechnical systems and quality management theories. Secondary data are used to test an explanation of how organizational-level and workgroup-level quality management practices relate to cooperative cultural values and workgroup performance. A single-level model is also tested to demonstrate its inadequacies. Based upon the support for a multilevel model, managerial insights are provided that aid in deciding where resources should be allocated during a quality initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-113
Number of pages33
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Multilevel modeling
  • Nonprofit service operation
  • Organizational culture
  • Quality management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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