Responses to our survey suggest that firms are attempting to develop at least two related types of systems, or capabilities, in order to support their OWC and OQC and/or reduce their risk exposure to environmental liabilities.
." These statements summarize the importance of environmental factors as cost-related OWC and image-related OQC for firms using continuous or line flow processes and were corroborated by other respondents.
Here, cost may only act as an OQC with the potential to disqualify a firm from the competition for many orders.
As such, the customer pressures for conformance to environmental image requirements (which have been shown to be often the customer's OQC) are passed on to the supplying firms as OWC.
Stage 1 organizations are unlikely to recognize the role of environmental performance in terms of OQC and OWC.
These organizations have probably begun to understand the role of environmental performance as an OQC. Thus, environmental benchmarkers are likely to recognize the competitive benefits of compliance, but they are not likely to recognize and utilize environmental capabilities as OWC.
Clearly, environmental integrators have a clear understanding of OQC and a measurement system in place to guarantee compliance with all regulatory requirements.
In other words, environmental innovators not only understand the current implications of their environmental OQC and OWC, they attempt to drive the standards and targets that practically define environmental OQC and OWC for the industries in which they participate.
Regardless of the company's size, however, it was clear that a thorough understanding of the role of environmental concerns such as OQC and OWC had been gained by the environmental innovators.
By adding an environmental perspective to the OWC and OQC concepts introduced by Hill, we suggest that a firm can better model the strategic choices that result in a well focused competitive position.