Institutional uncertainty and supply chain quality management: A conceptual framework
- Quality Management Journal
- July 2020
- Volume 27 Issue 3
- pp. 134-146
- Ford, Matthew W., Greer, Bertie M.
To cope with external uncertainty, managers adjust supply chain quality management (SCQM) practices to ensure that quality-related aspects of interorganizational resource flows remain stable. This paper considers the nature of those adjustments when uncertainty presides at the institutional level—the political and legal realm where rules governing supply chain exchange are established and enforced. As institutional uncertainty increases, SCQM practices are proposed to shift from postures that abide by the existing institutional order to those that evade or alter unstable institutional settings. Examples of SCQM activities associated with evading and altering postures are likewise offered. An important, and somewhat novel, implication of this work is that effective interorganizational quality management requires capability for navigating and, in some cases, altering institutional environments—jurisdictions sometimes considered beyond the customary scope of quality management.