International best practice, quality management and high performance: Inferences from the Australian automotive sector

Mark A. Shadur, John J. Rodwell, David E. Simmons, Greg J. Bamber

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The adoption of international 'best practice’ (IBP) has been presented widely as a strategy for organizations to improve productivity and competitiveness. The most prominent best practices include total quality management, continuous improvement programmes and just-in-time (JIT) production. Two key measures of competitiveness are quality and efficiency, and we examine those IBPs that lead to high levels of quality and efficiency in the Australian automotive industry. Our findings are based on a survey of the Australian automotive industry, and they suggest that the successful implementation of JIT and continuous improvement programmes can influence efficiency; this corresponds with recent discussions of IBP. However, our analyses also indicate that certain areas of human resource management, such as performance appraisals, performance-related pay, welfare schemes and testing during selection, can have an important influence on efficiency and quality and should also be considered as important forms of best practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-632
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1994


  • best practice
  • productivity
  • competitiveness
  • quality management
  • continuous improvement
  • efficiency
  • automotive industry

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