An exploration of organizational readiness factors for Quality 4.0: an intercontinental study and future research directions

Jiju Antony*, Michael Sony, Olivia McDermott, Raja Jayaraman, David Flynn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Quality 4.0 incorporates the role of automation and digitization and provides competitive advantage for organizations by enhancing customer experience and increase profitability. The purpose of this study is to critically examine the organizational readiness factors for the successful implementation of Quality 4.0 implementation and assess their importance. Design/methodology/approach: This study applies a quantitative research methodology to examine readiness factors of Quality 4.0 in organizations by 147 senior management professionals in various organizations including manufacturing and service companies in America, Asia and Europe participated through an online survey. Findings: The readiness factors for Quality 4.0 were critically ranked amongst manufacturing and service organizations by senior management professionals from three continents. Five significant reasons for non-adoption of Quality 4.0 were lack of resources, inability to link Quality 4.0 with the corporate strategy and objectives, lack of understanding of benefits, high initial investment and the current quality management strategy and methods are already delivering good results hence unsure of the need for Quality 4.0. The handling of big data in quality management was the most important factor for adopting Quality 4.0, irrespective of the size and nature of the organization. More accuracy and less errors and improved decision-making the factors of adopting Quality 4.0 in service sector were not significant for manufacturing sector. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) reported that costs and time savings over the long run were not so significant. Practical implications: This study is focussed on the significance of pros and cons of adopting Quality 4.0 in organizations. Senior managers in both large and SMEs can benefit immensely from understanding before investing heavily towards implementing Quality 4.0. The importance of identified organizational readiness factors for the successful adoption of Quality 4.0 can be used as indicators to understand how ready an organization is to implement Quality 4.0. The top three readiness factors for the successful adoption of Quality 4.0 were identified as: top management commitment, leadership and organizational culture. Improved understanding of the readiness factors can be highly beneficial to senior quality professionals in both manufacturing and service companies in the journey towards successful implementation of Quality 4.0. Originality/value: This is the first empirical study on assessing Quality 4.0 readiness factors at an intercontinental level and therefore serves as a foundation for many future studies. The study provides a theoretical foundation for the Quality 4.0 in terms of organizational readiness for successful adoption and overcoming implementation challenges. During the planning, implementation and progress review of Quality 4.0, review the readiness factors while planning and resourcing a Quality 4.0 implementation strategy to ensure effective performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-606
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • Global survey
  • Organizational readiness
  • Quality 4.0
  • Quality management
  • Technology readiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management


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