Title: The relationship between quality improvement and firms' productivity in Malaysia

Authors: Suhaiza Zailani, Nabsiah Abdul Wahid, Rajagopal Premkumar, M. Sathasivam

Addresses: School of Management, University of Science Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. ' School of Management, University of Science Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. ' School of Management, University of Science Malaysia, 11800, Penang, Malaysia. ' Business Operations-Wireless Business Unit, SEA Business Planning, AMD-Spansion, Penang, Malaysia

Abstract: This study attempts to examine whether quality improvement aspects have influence over a firm|s productivity performance within two different settings: semiconductor and medical equipment manufacturers firms in Penang, Malaysia. To achieve this aim, six identified quality-improvement-related variables – cooperation (teamwork), participation in decision-making, quality awareness, suggestions towards improvement, voluntary work and training – are examined to see whether they lead to the improvement of productivity. The study also investigates the moderating role of the level of automation between productivity and quality. Interestingly, the study found that while quality awareness, suggestions towards improvement, voluntary work and training influence productivity, the other two variables, i.e., cooperation and participation in decision making, were found to have no influence on productivity improvement for both semiconductor an medical equipment manufacturers firms.

Keywords: productivity; quality improvement; semiconductor firms; pharmaceutical firms; Malaysia; automation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPQM.2007.012454

International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2007 Vol.2 No.3, pp.347 - 364

Available online: 14 Feb 2007 *

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