Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Role of Scheduling

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Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Role of Scheduling

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Title: Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Role of Scheduling
Author: Ibanez, Maria R.; Toffel, Michael Wayne

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Citation: Ibanez, Maria, and Michael W. Toffel. "Assessing the Quality of Quality Assessment: The Role of Scheduling." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-090, April 2017.
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Abstract: Many production processes are subject to inspection to ensure they meet quality, safety, and environmental standards imposed by companies and regulators. This paper explores how the scheduling of inspections risks introducing bias that erodes inspection quality by altering inspector stringency. We theorize that inspection results will be affected by (a) when the inspection occurs within an inspector’s daily schedule and (b) the inspection outcomes of the inspector’s prior inspected establishment. Analyzing thousands of food safety inspections, we find that inspectors cite fewer violations in successive inspections throughout their day and when inspections risk prolonging their typical workday. We also find that inspectors cite more violations after inspecting establishments that exhibited worse compliance or greater compliance deterioration. We discuss several implications for managers who schedule or rely on inspections.
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Open Access Policy Articles, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#OAP
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33111773
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