Advances in Decision Sciences
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 694080, 27 pages
Research Article

Modelling the Implications of Quality Management Elements on Strategic Flexibility

Departamento de Administración de Empresas y Marketing, Universitat Jaume I, Campus del Riu Sec, 12071 Castellón, Spain

Received 10 August 2011; Accepted 12 December 2011

Academic Editor: David Bulger

Copyright © 2011 Ana Belén Escrig-Tena et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents a theoretical and empirical analysis of the implications of a quality management (QM) initiative on strategic flexibility. Our study defines flexibility from a strategic approach and examines the extent to which, why, and how the triggering factors of strategic flexibility are related to QM elements. The hypotheses put forward are tested in an empirical study carried out on a sample of Spanish firms, using structural equation models. The results demonstrate the positive effect of adopting an integral QM initiative on enhancing strategic flexibility. QM enhances strategic flexibility more effectively when it is introduced comprehensively rather than in a piecemeal fashion. A series of practices linked to the application of a QM initiative are outlined, which managers can use to improve strategic flexibility. The approach used in the study can be applied to analyse other antecedents of flexibility and to propose possible studies that consider QM as an antecedent of other organisational variables.