Examining Supplier-side Quality Management in the Chinese Automobile Market

Jiayao Hu, C Braziotis, Kim Hua Tan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Purpose of this paper:
Since 2009, China has become the world’s largest automobile producer and market. As the assembler is normally in charge of assembling and stamping works, the supply of components becomes a fundamental process of ensuring desirable quality. Supplier-Side Quality Management (SSQM) practices vary, among others, by business structure and supply chain position (Dellana and Kros, 2014). However, the dynamics of SSQM have mainly been empirically researched on buyers and suppliers that are typically not related in some forms of an identifiable direct exchange (Ambrose et al., 2010). In order to fill this gap, we aimed to compare two dyadic relationships: one Chinese Self-Owned Brand
(CSB) (and one of its suppliers) with one Chinese-Japanese Joint Venture (CJJV) (and one of its suppliers) by analysing their SSQM practices and performances. This comparative study aims to answer two research questions: 1) How do SSQM practices differ? 2) Why do such differences occur?

In order to answer our research questions, case study was employed (Yin, 2013). Data was collected from semi-structured interviews, company documents, and observations to enhance data triangulation. An interview protocol was developed from the review of relevant literature, and a systematic data analysis process was employed, on both the within and the cross case levels.
Our research elaborates on the differences between operations capability and quality culture aspect in supply chain relationships in the Chinese automobile market. The comparison also reveals the diverse operational and strategic SSQM practices in supplier selection, supplier support, supplier communication, and supplier involvement. Based on these findings, a comprehensive framework is developed to assist in better understanding SSQM in China.
This comparative study empirically investigates the SSQM of buyer and supplier in the same relationship, and contributes to academic understanding of relevant factors in the Chinese automobile industry. It also provides insights into the expectations and perceptions of relationship partners. Moreover, this research should help managers in recognising best practices in SSQM and in identifying improvement directions.
Research limitations/implications (if applicable):
This research focused on two dyadic relationships (i.e. CSB-Supplier; CJJV-Supplier); therefore, more relationships with diverse characteristics should be included into future research. Furthermore, to test the generalizability of the results, other methodological approaches such as a large survey could also be conducted.
Practical implications (if applicable):
This paper provides empirical evidence explaining how and why CSB differs from CJJV in SSQM to quality and supply chain managers. Moreover, firms need to recognise their capability and quality culture and act accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Proceedings of 21st International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2016)
EditorsK.S. Pawar, K.M. Tsai
Place of PublicationNottingham, UK
PublisherNottingham University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)13 9780853583172
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event21st International Symposium on Logistics: Sustainable Transport and Supply Chain Innovation - Kaohsiung, China
Duration: 3 Jul 20166 Jul 2016


Conference21st International Symposium on Logistics: Sustainable Transport and Supply Chain Innovation


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