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The purpose of this paper is to adopt the dynamic capability (DC) view as a theoretical framework to empirically investigate the relationships among human resource (HR)-related quality management (QM) practices: new product development (NPD) as a specific DC, learning orientation, knowledge integration, and strategic flexibility. Learning orientation and knowledge integration represent two antecedents of strategic flexibility, and strategic flexibility is the developed ability that facilitates NPD.


To empirically test the relationships, the authors used data from 236 European firms and performed structural equation modeling.


Results indicate that HR-related QM practices contribute to creating a learning-oriented company, integrating knowledge, and supporting successful NPD. Furthermore, knowledge integration is positively related to NPD through strategic flexibility.

Practical implications

This study is relevant for practitioners because it identifies key points in QM implementation that enable firms to be more strategically flexible and thus better able to regularly develop new products.


When organizations must sustain their competitive positions by continuously adapting to environmental changes, it is important to study not only how QM implementation is positively related to the firm performance on which a significant portion of the QM literature has focused but also to study whether QM implementation is related to strategic variables and can make a contribution to strategic processes. To fill the void in the HR and QM literature, this study offers an integrated framework with empirical support that identifies the role of HR-related QM practices in learning orientation, knowledge integration, strategic flexibility, and NPD.


© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Original published version available at

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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International Journal of Operations & Production Management





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